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How do inherited genes affect dental health?
There are many diseases and health effects that are affected by our genes. These include, for example, myopia in children, which was already present with their mother. But do our genes also affect our teeth? Researchers have now investigated a possible connection and came to the conclusion that hereditary bacteria in the mouth are not to blame for bad teeth and more common caries.
The scientists at the J. Craig Venter Institute found that our genes are not associated with an increased likelihood of bad teeth or tooth decay. So if you've always believed that your poor dental health was inherited, you're wrong. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Cell Host & Microbe".
Experts: Genes cannot be held responsible for dental problems
Surely you can take myopia or certain features of your parents 'or grandparents' appearance. However, the genes do not seem to have much influence on the health of our teeth. People like to find a culprit who is responsible for their mistakes. So far, it has often been claimed that bad teeth and the predisposition to caries are partly inherited from our ancestors. However, the surprising result of an investigation on this topic shows that our genes cannot be held responsible for dental problems.
Researchers examine 485 twin pairs of subjects
The experts at the J. Craig Venter Institute examined a total of 485 pairs of twins for their study. 205 of them were identical twins and the remaining 280 pairs of twins consisted of dizygotic twins. All participants were examined between the ages of five and eleven years. In this way, the researchers were able to compare a possible genetic predisposition to oral bacteria in subjects with the same living conditions.
Caries can be caused by cariogenic bacteria
The human teeth are surrounded by a biofilm called plaque, which is intended to protect them from possible damage. However, if plaque changes, so-called cariogenic bacteria can cause tooth decay. Scientists are now investigating whether there are inheritable bacteria that cause or at least contribute to the damage to our teeth. Another possibility would be that these tooth-damaging bacteria multiply through our own fault and thus lead to the said damage.
Many bacteria in the mouth are inherited, but do not lead to tooth decay
In their investigation, the researchers were able to find out that a large number of bacteria are actually inherited in our mouth. Nevertheless, there is a catch in finding guilt, because these bacteria do not lead to tooth decay, the experts explain. The damage to the teeth is more likely to be caused by bacteria, which were found especially in children who ate a lot of sugar. There have been previous studies that came to the conclusion that especially milk teeth in young children need to be cleaned extremely thoroughly. In other words, a diet rich in sugar nourishes bacteria in our mouth, which can damage the teeth and lead to tooth decay. In their study, however, the scientists were unable to find out what the inherited bacteria in our mouth do. Further investigations on this topic should now lead to more information.
Brush your teeth properly and thoroughly
When we develop dental problems, tooth decay develops and teeth start to rot, it is not our genes that are the cause, but the eating habits of the person concerned. But what options do we have to maintain good dental health? First of all, it is important to pay particular attention to good oral hygiene, the experts advise. This is very simple: brush your teeth sufficiently. It is important, however, that you use the right technique when cleaning.
How do I brush my teeth properly?
Teeth should be brushed properly at least twice a day. The time set for this should not be less than two to three minutes. It is important that everything is cleaned thoroughly. Many doctors recommend using a so-called electronic toothbrush. Toothpaste should be made sure that it contains a lot of fluoride. The fluoride content in adults should be between 1400 and 1500 ppm (parts per million).
Can dental hygiene chewing gums replace brushing teeth?
There are quite a few people who believe that special chewing gums for dental care can replace brushing your teeth. However, this assumption does not correspond to reality. Dental chewing gum is by no means a good substitute for thorough cleaning with a toothbrush and toothpaste. The use of such chewing gum stimulates the flow of saliva, which counteracts the caries bacteria. But chewing on these special chewing gums unfortunately does not result in harmful food residues being removed from between the teeth.
Dental health is not a question of genes
Dental health is therefore not dependent on our genes. So excuses that we inherited our bad teeth from our ancestors are no longer an argument for tooth decay. Rather, everyone is responsible for the health of their teeth. Caries is often a result of an unhealthy and sugary diet. (as)