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How Genetics are Affecting Your Teeth

Posted by: Dr. Sirakian     Categories: Dentistry, Oral Health

You may have stellar brushing, flossing, and rinsing habits, but it is genetics that plays the leading role in your oral health. About 60% of the risk for tooth decay comes from genetic factors. Tooth decay is the most common chronic worldwide disease and we only have partial control over it. While you should continue to brush multiple times a day and floss daily, here is what you should know about the role that genetics plays in oral health. Scientists have found that these things that play a role in tooth decay are linked to genetics.

Sweet Preference
Mary L. Marazita, director of the Center for Craniofacial and Dental Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine found that there are gene variants that show a range of “sweet preference.” The stronger your genetic preference is for sweets, the more likely you are to develop tooth decay. So, it turns out we are not all candy-loving maniacs, but that some of us have a stronger genetic preference for it, which can affect your teeth.

Tooth Enamel
Some people simply have softer tooth enamel than others. Genes play a major role in developing the structure of enamel, so if you have weak enamel, it is due to your genes. Weakened enamel makes it easier for bacteria and acids to cause cavities and decay.

Saliva Strength
Saliva production is key to keeping your mouth healthy. Saliva washes away bacteria and food particles in your mouth that can cause decay. Genetically speaking, some of us are better at producing saliva than others. Low saliva production can lead to cavities, decay, and gum recession, so if you lack the genetic variant for high saliva production, then your mouth could suffer.

While genetics does play a factor in your oral health, the other 40% risk of tooth decay can be lowered by brushing and flossing regularly. So, even if your family has a history of soft enamel paired with a sweet tooth, continue to brush, floss, and take regular trips to the dentist.

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The Abuse of Teeth in Nursing Homes

By the time you have reached your seventies, your teeth are tired. Even with proper care and regular trips to the dentist, your teeth and gums have gone through a lifetime of wear and tear. Teeth can withstand this wear and tear if they have received proper care and treatment throughout their life, but for […]

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What is Enamel and How Does it Work?

If you’ve ever been to the dentist, then you’ve heard them talk about enamel. Dentists spend a lot of time talking to their patients about enamel, plaque, and tooth decay. We believe that to really understand how to keep your teeth healthy, you have to know what enamel is and how best to take care […]

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Treating Cracked and Chipped Teeth

Cracked a Tooth? Cracking or chipping your tooth can be extremely painful. While a chipped or cracked tooth may cause issues with chewing, biting, and eating, it can also cause further harm to your other teeth. What Happens? A cracked tooth can cause harm to the root of the tooth and can sometimes lead to […]

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What Sugar Substitutes Mean For Your Teeth

While you may have switched to a sugar substitute to save your waistline, it is possible that it could be saving your teeth as well. Sugar substitutes do not have the same effect on teeth enamel as sugar does. While sugar fuels the bacteria in plaque, creating acids that wear away at teeth, sugar substitutes […]

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Can Wisdom Teeth Stem Cells Be Used to Treat Corneal Scarring?

A scarred or scratched cornea is a condition that necessitates immediate treatment, and it could potentially lead to permanent vision loss. As of now, the options to treat this scarring include donor corneas replacing the damaged one, or donor tissues to try and regenerate the impaired tissue. However, teeth may provide another option! Recent findings […]

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