New Findings Uncover Role of Genetics in Oral Health
New research is finding that genetic variations may be connected to an increased risk of tooth decay and aggressive forms of gum disease. In the past, researchers believed that genes played a minor role in the state of dental health, primarily impacting the size and shape of the teeth and the mineral content of the saliva. The new study shows that your body’s immune response system weighs heavily on dental outcomes calling for more in-depth approaches to your dental care. Although you can’t control your genes, dentists agree that adherence to a thorough dental care routine can offer many benefits and protection for your teeth, gums, and overall health.
Tooth decay is the second most common health condition in the U.S., second only to the common cold, affecting 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 authors were able to pinpoint polymorphisms (individual variations) in a gene, known as beta defensin 1 (DEFB1), which impacts immune response to invading 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.
Another 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 did seem to be responsible for greater risk of diseased gum tissue. The lead researcher of the study 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. Inflammation plays a role in both diseases, making isolation of the gene and the development of treatments all the more crucial.
Despite these findings, you should not worry that your oral health is under imminent threat, even with dental care diligence. You can still have a significant impact on the state of your oral health with routine brushing, flossing, visits to the dentist, and a diet rich in nutrient-dense foods. Avoiding habits such as tobacco use and excess consumption of sugary and starchy foods can also improve outcomes, regardless of your genes. There are affordable dentists who can help you safeguard your oral health in spite of your genetic predisposition
To learn about our family dentistry practice in Capitol Heights, call Dental One Associates at Steeplechase today at (240) 392-3983 or make an appointment.
Dental One Associates offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Capitol Heights. With 11 affiliated practices throughout Maryland, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Dental One Associates at Steeplechase, 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 at Steeplechase.