Can We Blame Mom and Dad for Cavities?

Father Daughter BrushingGenetics have a bearing on many elements of a person, both inside and out. You may look exactly like your mother, father, grandparent, or favorite uncle. Perhaps you have the eyes of one relative, the body type of another, and teeth that are identical to some distant ancestor you see in a picture. Looks are one thing, but DNA can actually play a role in your general dental health as well. Farmington Hills dentist, Dr. Aziza Askari, explains how genetics can possibly dictate your propensity towards cavities.

Born This Way

We are taught from a young age that good oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist should give us a pretty fair chance of avoiding major dental issues. While this is true to some degree, there are always people that put a little more effort forth, and still end up with a cavity or two. Then there are those who only brush their teeth in the morning, and only floss once a year, if that, yet still have perfect teeth. This is where studies have looked at genetics as an explanation for the discrepancies in the dental health of various people.  

That’s Some Powerful Saliva You Have

The alignment of your teeth can certainly be traced through genetic history, but so can the strength of your teeth. Cavities are caused by Streptococcus mutans, a particular bacteria that feeds on sugar to produce lactic acid, breaking down the hard shell of tooth enamel that’s designed to protect your teeth. Bacteria can then attach to the more sensitive inner workings of teeth in the form of plaque and tartar, creating cavities over time.

Saliva is an important element in keeping teeth clear of bacteria, and neutralizing acid. Composition of saliva can be a genetic element in people that dictates whether or not someone is more prone to tooth decay. You may hear someone say, “I’m so glad I got my father’s beautiful blue eyes” or “I’m lucky to have my mom’s gorgeous smile,” but another appropriate compliment could be, “thank goodness I have grandma’s excellent cavity-busting saliva.”

Dental Checkups in Farmington Hills

Be sure to visit your dentist twice a year for exams and cleanings. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Askari, contact Comfort Dental Spa by calling our Farmington Hills dentist office at (248) 474-6434. We are happy to serve patients in Farmington Hills, MI, the 48335 zip code, and surrounding neighborhoods.