Are cavities related to genetics?

Typically, when patients go to the dentist, they are told that a good oral health routine can decrease the risk of cavities. However, is this only half the story? Could genetics also be to blame for cavities? In this blog, we will explore this possibility originally outlined in an article from the Colgate Oral Health Network.

How Do Cavities Form?

Throughout your day sugars and bacteria stick to your teeth when eating carbohydrates and drinking sugars. This bacteria starts to form a slimy surface of your teeth called a biofilm. Eventually, this biofilm creates cavities. If you drink water throughout the day or produce enough saliva, your mouth will naturally wash away parts of the biofilm. However, the only way to remove all the bacteria and prevent cavities is to brush twice per day and floss once per day.

When these biofilms start out they are called plaque. This is sticky material. Although, if you do not brush your teeth often, the sticky starter turns into a hard tarter that eats the surface of your teeth. Slowly, the bacteria in the tarter will eat away your tooth until a hole forms. This is a cavity. If you do not fill the hole, it will continue to develop and reach the inner part of your tooth. Here, a painful root canal has developed harming sensitive nerves inside your mouth. At Singla Dental, Dr. Singla and his team never want your oral health to get to this point! If you think you have a cavity, come to Singla Dental in Duncanville, Texas right away to meet with Dr. Singla and his team.

Genetics and Cavities

Just like there are many different types of animals, there are many different types of bacteria. Some bacteria are good. Other bacteria are bad and can cause cavities. From a number of recent studies, scientists have determined that some bacteria responsible for cavities are genetic. Meaning, your family could share a common bacteria that causes cavities. Additionally, twins and parent-child relationships have a higher chance of sharing cavity forming genetic bacteria.

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Risk Factors for Cavitie

Apart from genetics, there are other risk factors for cavities. These are enamel hypoplasia, immune response, and environment. During pregnancy, if the mother has a vitamin D deficiency, her child could develop enamel hypoplasia, which weakens the outer covering of the tooth, called the enamel, in baby and adult teeth. This makes it easier for any type of bacteria to eat away the tooth and cause a cavity. Additionally, a decrease in vitamin D, along with other factors, can reduce the immune system’s response to cavity-forming bacteria.

The research for genetics related to dental cavities forming bacteria is promising; however, for now, the biggest risk factor for developing a cavity is not genetics, but rather behavior and environment. Dr. Singla and his team at Singla Dental in Duncanville, Texas recommend brushing twice a day for two minutes each time, flossing once per day, eating a balanced diet, and staying hydrated. In addition to your at-home oral health routine, you should also visit Dr. Singla and his team at Singla Dental in Duncanville, Texas twice a year for a cleaning and exam to prevent cavities. For more information about how cavities form or to plan your next visit at Singla Dental call (972)-298-4677 today!