Is it true that genes may be responsible for dental cavities and gum disease?

The answer to this question is no. A genetic test cannot predict the risk of developing cavities or severe gum disease. Just because you have a DNA marker associated with a particular disease, it does not mean you will develop the disease. No gene has been identified that has a large impact on periodontal disease as environmental influences, such as smoking or diabetes, or poor oral hygiene.

Gum disease is an inflammation of the gum line that can progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. The three stages of gum disease are gingivitis, periodontitis and advanced periodontitis.

Dental caries appear when you eat certain foods and the bacteria on your teeth break them down  and produces acids that will damage the hard tissue of your teeth. As a result, cavities are formed.

American Dental association advise us to:

  • Brush our teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste;
  • Floss;
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet, rich in vitamins and minerals and low in carbohydrates and sugar;
  • See our dentist for regular check-ups and professional cleanings.

Many common diseases are not inherited as a single gene defect but instead result from gene-environment interactions.

A predictive test for cavities or for gum disease does not exist, but these 2 medical conditions are  diseases with multiple gene and environmental risk factors.

Many people often wonder if bad teeth are genetic. If you have such issues, you can talk to your dentist regarding this topic.

Some genetic factors can influence your oral health, but we can’t say that your genes are responsible for your oral health issues.

As a conclusion, you cannot blame your genes for suffering from cavities or gum disease. It possible that genes play a role in your teeth problems, but the most important causes for these oral health problems are related to environmental factors and poor hygiene factors.  In case you need extra information, do not hesitate to call dr. Arhiri.

References:

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/g/genetics-and-dental-health
https://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2017-archive/april/ada-puts-genetic-testing-and-oral-health-in-context-for-dentists
https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/gum-disease/ada-04-genes-may-be-linked-to-tooth-decay-gum-disease
https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/genetics-and-oral-health?source=VanityURL
https://oralb.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/cavities-tooth-decay/what-are-dental-caries