The Genetic Impact on Oral Health
Your eyes are the same color as your mom’s and those dimples are definitely from your dad, but your parents, or even your grandparents, could have passed down some traits that might not be as exciting to share. New research has unveiled evidence that your risk of tooth decay and gum disease is heavily linked to your genetics. While this might seem like bad news, it offers dentists the opportunity to understand why some patients struggle with poor conditions of oral health and help them tailor their dental care routines accordingly. Learn more about how your genes can impact your oral health—there are affordable dentists who can let you know what you can do to take back control of your oral health.
The second most common health condition in the U.S. is tooth decay, second only to the common cold, which affects millions of Americans. A recent study published online in the Journal of Dental Research found that the risk of high rates of tooth decay and aggressive gum disease may be linked to certain genetic variations.
The researchers pinpointed individual variations in a gene (polymorphisms), known as beta defensin 1 (DEFB1), which impact the immune response to germs. The ability to isolate the occurrence of the gene and detect variations will allow experts to further their research to develop dental care products and strategies to specifically assist people with the conditions. Scientists believe this research will help reduce the number of affected individuals.
A second study, published in the journal, PLoS One, observed genetic characteristics linked to aggressive forms of gum disease, or periodontitis. There appeared to be an association with a gene known as FAM5C. While no variations of the gene were observed, expression and activation of the gene appeared to be responsible for a greater risk of diseased gum tissue. The lead researcher explained that the FAM5C disease was recently implicated as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, almost solidifying the link between poor gum health and heart disease. Experts say the gene is connected with high levels of inflammation, which plays a role in both diseases, making isolation of the gene and the development of treatments all the more crucial.
Even with these research findings, you can still have a significant impact on the state of your oral health with diligent dental care, visits to the dentist, and a diet rich in nutrient-dense foods. Avoiding tobacco use and excess consumption of sugary and starchy foods can also improve oral health outcomes, regardless of your genes.
There are affordable dentists in Westminster who can help you safeguard your oral health despite any genetic predispositions.
To learn about our family dentistry practice in Westminster, call Dental One Associates of Westminster today at (410) 970-0292 or make an appointment.
Dental One Associates offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Westminster. With 11 affiliated practices throughout Maryland, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Dental One Associates of Westminster, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Dental One Associates of Westminster.