While nearly anyone can suffer from a cavity, are some people genetically predisposed to developing tooth decay? The answer is surprising. Multiple dental health factors can make some portions of the population more susceptible to developing tooth decay. Dr. Diep Truong discusses how genes can affect your tooth decay risk and what you can do to help your smile stay healthy and cavity-free.
The Link Between Genetics and Tooth Decay
Numerous studies have been conducted over the years to understand why some people seem to be particularly vulnerable to tooth decay. The results show that a variety of genetic factors can lead to a greater likelihood of developing cavities. These factors include:
- Taste: Some people, especially children, have a greater preference for sweets that may actually be genetic. For children who have a strong desire for sugary snacks, you should consider offering healthy alternatives at home.
- Saliva: Our saliva naturally cleanses the mouth of harmful bacteria and food particles. People with mouths that produce less saliva create an environment where bacteria can freely break down food particles and cause plaque buildup, which weakens enamel and can lead to cavities.
- Enamel: The strength of your enamel is often dependent on genetics. Some people have softer or harder enamel. Softer enamel is more likely to erode and allow bacteria to reach the sensitive inner tooth structure, where cavities can form.
Tips for Keeping Your Smile Healthy
Now, just because you may be especially susceptible to decay due to genetics doesn’t mean you’re helpless to protect your teeth. By practicing good oral hygiene, you can help safeguard your teeth against cavities. Some simple tips for maintaining a healthy smile include:
- Brush your teeth twice a day, once in the morning and again before bed
- Floss your teeth every night before bed
- Attend dental cleanings at least twice a year
- Cut back on foods and drinks high in sugar and other starches
About Dr. Truong:
Dallas TX dentist, Dr. Diep Truong, DDS offers a comfortable dental care employing the latest in cutting-edge dental technology. Our patients in Dallas and Richardson have access to innovative preventive, cosmetic, and restorative procedures. To schedule an appointment, call Viva Dental Family Dentistry at (214) 337-7800 (Dallas) or (972) 437-6000 (Richardson).