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Are You Genetically Predisposed To Experience Tooth Decay?



Are you genetically predisposed to experience tooth decay?

Everyone has read the standard script on how to prevent tooth decay. Brushing and religiously flossing your teeth at least twice per day, eating healthy foods like apples and avoiding tooth-decay-catalyzing behaviors such as smoking will all suffice in the fight against an ugly smile. What if you only had partial control over your chances of experiencing tooth decay?

60% of the chances that you will experience tooth decay entirely rely on your genetics. While some will have a genetic advantage in the fight against tooth decay, others will have a higher risk of contracting this chronic condition. Which begs the question, what genetic factors increase your chances of contracting tooth decay?

Read: All You Need To Know About Cavities: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Here are four of these factors:

Sweet Preferences

Sweets have a significant role to play when it comes to catalyzing tooth decay, as any Grants Pass dentist would point out. While everyone loves taking sweets, not everyone has the same levels of a sweet tooth. Some people will typically be drawn to sweets more than others. This preference for sweets is mainly passed down from previous generations. The bad news is that the more sweets you eat, the higher the chances that you will contract tooth decay.

Saliva Strength

Nutrients such as calcium and potassium tend to be great for developing strong bones and teeth. Dentists will tend to urge their patients to indulge in foods like milk and nuts for a healthy calcium supply and beans, potatoes, and beets for a healthy potassium supply. However, making the most out of such foods is not as easy as eating them.

They have to be metabolized to achieve their full potential, and saliva plays a key role in facilitating their metabolism. Scientists have discovered gene variants that make some people’s saliva better at doing this task more than others. This results in a higher chance of contracting tooth decay for people with relatively weaker saliva.

The Strength of Your Tooth Enamel

It is necessary to keep your tooth enamel healthy to ward off common conditions such as tooth decay, and sticking to healthy dental hygiene practices can help achieve this. For some people, their genetic disposition makes the job of upholding strong enamel tougher. Genes tend to be a primary determinant of how strong your enamel can be.

Consequently, some people end up having stronger enamel than the rest, and the weaker your enamel is, the easier it will be for bacteria to erode it encouraging tooth decay. Tooth decay aside, this can also increase the chances of contracting other enamel-related problems such as enamel fluorosis.

The Shape of Your Teeth

Teeth will tend to come in all shapes and sizes, and your genetics have a role to play in guiding this factor. While some people have well-spaced teeth, other have crowded ones. The latter group will typically find it tough to floss in between their teeth which increases their chances of contracting tooth decay. Similarly, people with crooked or irregularly shaped teeth tend to offer bacteria more places for hiding.

So, What Can You Do About This?

There is close to nothing you can do to change your genetic disposition. In case you were born with a deep craving for sweets, try your best to keep away from the sweets. At least, ensure that you brush every time you take some sweets.

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