We blame our parents for everything, so why not blame them for our predisposition for tooth decay, too? All joking aside, if you’re curious about how your oral health will change as you age, then take a look at your parents and grandparents. More research shows that tooth decay does have a genetic component, so even if you floss, brush, and see your dentist, you may still have dental problems that need attention. It’s important to note that tooth decay does has a bacterial component, too, so be sure to maintain good oral hygiene.
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine believe that certain genetic variations can be the reason why some people have bad tooth decay as well as aggressive periodontitis. These researchers have published two papers on the topic.
Tooth Decay Afflicts Millions of Americans
According to a CDC report that looked at data from 2011-2012, approximately 91% of Americans between the ages of 20-64 have dental caries. That is an incredible percentage of the U.S. population!
“Both tooth decay (dental caries) and gum disease (periodontal disease) show various clinical symptoms and seriousness among individuals who otherwise practice similar oral hygiene habits. One reason why symptoms are so variable is that individuals inherit different degrees of genetic susceptibility or resistance to germs (bacteria) found in the mouth,” wrote S. Michele Robichaux, D.D.S., in Genetic Considerations of Diseases and Disorders that Affect the Oral Cavity. “Other diseases and disorders that can directly or indirectly affect oral tissues include metabolic diseases (such as diabetes), cancers of the head and neck, and developmental defects (like cleft lip and cleft palate).”
Periodontal Disease is a Silent Disease
You may not know that you even have gum disease. If your gums bleed when you brush or floss, then this is a warning sign. Normal brushing and flossing should not make your gums bleed, and bleeding doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing it too hard. If you notice any bleeding, you should see your dentist as you probably will need a cleaning to remove the plaque and tartar that is causing your gums to be irritated, sensitive, and inflamed.
If your family has problems with tooth decay, gum disease, or missing teeth, then you should be diligent with your oral health. Make sure you always brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day and visit your dentist for regular cleanings and dental check-ups. Are you concerned about your oral health? Schedule an appointment with one of our experienced dentists at Columbus Dental Solutions today!