At David C. Montz DDS, PA & Associates – Family, Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry, we stay abreast of new discoveries in the exciting field of dentistry and occasionally share interesting facts with our patients. Today’s post focuses on new findings in a captivating field of research, genetic dentistry.
“Researchers at the Center for Craniofacial and Dental Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, have found that about 60% of the risk for tooth decay appears to be due to genetic factors You might be thinking, “That’s why I brush and floss but still have aching tooth pain in Pearland.” Or, better yet, you might be thinking, “No wonder I have never had a cavity but eat candy often and occasionally go to bed without brushing.” A recent article on CNN.com highlights specific tooth decay risk factors that have a genetic link:
Your genes play an essential role in the composition of your tooth enamel. Soft enamel is more cavity prone. If you constantly suffer from cavities and tooth pain in Pearland, then you may have soft enamel.
Whether or not you love sugar has a genetic basis. Now you can blame your parent’s genes if you pop M&Ms in your mouth all day.
Chemical Composition of Saliva
Your saliva can protect against cavities – if it properly metabolizes important minerals and vitamins like calcium, potassium, iron, and Vitamin C. Your genes impact your saliva’s power to prevent decay.
Immune Response to Bacteria
We don’t like to think about the dangerous bacteria in our mouth, but our immune system is ever-vigilant at fighting their constant attempts to cause decay and gum disease. The strength of your immune system is determined, in part, by genetics. In the next few decades, scientists in the emerging specialty of genetic dentistry may play an essential role in the development of new cavity prevention techniques.
The purpose of this article is not to encourage patients to forget about oral hygiene if their parents have strong teeth. Nor to cause those whose teeth decay easily to throw their hands up in despair and resign themselves to a toothless mouth. Proper oral hygiene is vital for all of us, regardless of our genetic predisposition to tooth decay. You have the ability to be proactive about your oral health, regardless of the genes you inherited. Whether you have frequent dental check-ups, consistent fluoride intake, effective brushing and flossing techniques, and proper nutrition is up to you.
If you need a thorough dental exam, an expert dental cleaning, a refresher course on proper brushing and flossing, or want to improve your smile with innovative cosmetic dentistry, call David C. Montz DDS, PA & Associates – Family, Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry at 832-895-5120 to schedule a consultation. We also help patients with sleep apnea or severe tooth pain in Pearland.