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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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Tooth Decay May Prohibit Growth in Children

As children grow, it’s only natural that we, as parents, go to great lengths to ensure they become healthy and happy adults. Recent studies have shown that tooth decay may affect the way children grow up. These studies found that tooth decay actually inhibits growth in children. Because of these findings, it is important for […]

Oct
8

Low Vitamin D Could Cause Cavities in Babies

Research done by a team at the University of Manitoba found that “low levels of vitamin D in pregnancy are associated with the development of cavities in babies.” These findings were based upon a survey of 134 expectant mothers. The study took blood samples from each expectant mother to measure vitamin D levels. Then they […]

Oct
1

Osteoporosis and Oral Health

Having osteoporosis can affect more than just your bones. The treatment for osteoporosis as well as the disease itself can harm your oral health. If you suffer from osteoporosis, then it is important to let your doctor know about any medications that you may take. Many osteoporosis medicines called antiresorptive agents strive to strengthen bones, […]

Sep
7

Are Cavities Contagious?

While this may come as a surprise, cavities are contagious. That’s right, just like catching a cold in the wintertime, you can also catch a cavity. Although sugar is usually to blame for cavities and tooth decay, studies have shown that cavities can be transmitted. This is because bacteria are the culprit in wearing away […]

Aug
31

Burning Mouth Syndrome: What You Need to Know

Have you ever experienced a burning pain in your mouth for multiple days, months, or maybe even longer? If you have, you may be experiencing Burning Mouth Syndrome, here is what you need to know. While any abnormality in your mouth requires a trip to the doctor, burning in your mouth is a clear sign […]

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The information presented here is not intended or implied to be medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should be used for informational purposes only.

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