Dental Health and Genetics

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Balding, obesity and now bad teeth? New research is suggesting a strong relationship between your dental health and genetics.

dental health and genetics

Do you brush your teeth twice a day, floss after ever meal, avoid sweets just to have a new cavity almost every time you visit the dentist? Your genetics may be who to blame. If one or both of your parents have had a lifetime of dental issues, you are three times as likely to have them as well. Technology, education and the use of fluoride can offer better health options than your parents had. But sometimes even that is not enough to fight genetics.

Researchers have found that certain genetic variations may be the cause of tooth decay and periodontitis, which is an inflammation of the gums. They have found a particular gene called beta defensin 1 playing a key role in the body’s immune response against bacteria on the teeth and gums. According to the research, cavities are being influenced by this gene. When the gene is present, dental issues are more likely to develop and more often.

Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic diseases in the world. This is one of the reasons this finding of dental health and genetics is so important. We also now know that there is a link between poor dental health and poor heart health. So is this gene entirely to blame?

The overall health of your teeth involves a combination of good dental hygiene practices as well as genetics. However, roughly 60% of dental caries (cavities) appear to be caused by genetics. The remaining 40% includes:

  • soft drinks
  • brushing
  • flossing
  • diet
  • smoking
  • lack of fluoride, brushing and flossing
  • lack of regular dental cleanings and exams

The number one cause by a large margin is excessive consumption of sugary drinks and sodas. The best way to fight your genetics is to regularly practice good oral hygiene habits, stay away from sodas and make sure you visit your dentist regularly. If you don’t have a dentist, or are looking for a new one, schedule an appointment with Dr. Alicia Abeyta today. She is Albuquerque’s Most Gentle Dentist! Genetics may play a large role in your dental health, but doing your part still makes a big impact for good dental health.

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