External Factors Play Larger Role In Tooth Decay Than Genes

I often hear from clients how their parents had “bad teeth” and a “lot of cavities”, so that must be the reason that they, too, have so much tooth decay. Not true!

Although there is evidence of a genetic component, there are much more important reasons why people get tooth decay.

Discover Magazine reports that in a study published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, “researchers examined the role genes, the environment and an individual’s oral microbiome play in determining someone’s fate in the dentist’s chair,” finding “no evidence that bacteria associated with the onset of cavities were driven by genetic factors.” Rather, “bacteria associated with cavities, like Streptococcus mutans, were in higher abundance in the mouths of kids who consumed more sugar.” In addition, the researchers found that “as kids age, the microbes they inherit from mom and dad decrease, while microbes introduced through the environment increase.”

Newsweek reports that Dr. Chris Dupont, one of the researchers involved with the study, said, “What we are seeing here is that in general you do indeed inherit the microbes that make up your mouth from your parents.” Dr. Dupont added, “But it turned out that the microbes you inherit from your parents don’t generally cause cavities. Instead it’s more due to what you eat, your lifestyle and your diet.”

That last statement bears repeating.

“Instead, it’s more due to what you eat, your lifestyle, and your diet.”

What I see in my practice is an ever-increasing amount of tooth decay in adults, instead of a decreasing amount. This is alarming, as anytime a tooth requires restoration, it will never be the same as a tooth which never had a problem. Any restoration any dentist places in your mouth is subject to wear and tear, the foods you eat, tooth clenching and grinding, and much more.

What to have fewer – even NO – cavities?

Change your diet to one of zero processed foods. Eat raw fruits and vegetables. Avoid store-bought drinks (ALL of which are harmful to your teeth – ask me for the study that examined nearly 400 drinks bought in a store), and of course, brush and FLOSS. By not flossing, you are missing cleaning 35% of your tooth surface area, and any areas not cleaned will decay.

Want a personalized plan for optimal health? Schedule your appointment with me today!

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