Tel: (617) 332-2872

825 Beacon St
Suite 16
Newton, MA 02459

Genetics and Oral Health

Do you ever wish a test could tell you what your oral health will look like in 5, 10, or 15 years? Unfortunately, there is no such test. You might be wondering why…

According to the American Dental Association, there is no single gene that is responsible for cavities and/or periodontal disease. These oral health issues are complex and don’t stem from one place. They have many possible factors, including both genetic and environmental factors. Most importantly, the best tool we have to prevent cavities and/or periodontal disease is taking good care of our teeth and gums on a regular basis. 

Are cavities genetic?

The genes that may have some effect on cavities have to do with the formation of our tooth enamel, immune responses, salivary characteristics, and even taste. However, it’s more likely the reaction of food being introduced and broken down in the mouth that has an effect on whether we have cavities. Unfortunately, you can never really know how your teeth are going to react to what happens in your mouth. 

Is periodontal disease genetic?

When we look at periodontal diseases, there is research to show that up to 50% of the makeup of our gums is genetic, though there is no single gene that is responsible. Interestingly, studies show that overall health has a significant impact. Your overall health and other factors like what you eat, if you smoke or drink alcohol, your dental hygiene habits, etc. are, together, great signifiers of whether you will develop periodontal disease. 

How to prevent cavities and periodontal disease

The best tool you have for preventing cavities and periodontal disease is listening to the advice of your dentist: brush and floss twice a day, and don’t miss your 6-month checkups!

Are you due for a checkup? Book an appointment today.