At Koch Park Dental in Florissant MO, we stay abreast of new discoveries in dentistry and occasionally share interesting facts with our patients. This blog post focuses on new findings in an intriguing field of research, genetic dentistry.
“About 60% of the risk for tooth decay appears to be due to genetic factors,” said Mary L. Marazita, director of the Center for Craniofacial and Dental Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine.
Whoa! Did she say 60%? That’s huge. You might be thinking: “That’s why I brush and floss but still get cavities.” 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 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.
Whether or not you love sugar has a genetic basis. Now you can why you want to pop M&Ms all day. (But it still isn’t good for your teeth or waistline!)
Chemical Composition of Saliva
Your saliva can protect against cavities – if it properly metabolizes critical 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 harmful bacteria in our mouth but, hopefully, 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 important role in the development of new cavity prevention techniques.
At Koch Park Dental in Florissant MO, we urge all our patients to avoid sugary drinks and foods, and see us for a checkup every six months. We provide a full range of dental services, including cosmetic dentistry and dental implants. We treat serious issues such as sleep apnea. Schedule an appointment today.