Nature vs. Nurture in Dental Issues Explained by Rochester Dentist

Some people think they are born with a tendency towards tooth decay. This idea, unfortunately, can inspire people to adopt a why bother attitude when it comes to dental hygiene. Why should you put forth the effort to brush and floss often, and visit the dentist regularly, if you’re only going to end up with a cavity or two, anyway? While genetic predispositions can affect the health of your health, a newly released study has uncovered that environment actually plays a more significant role in the development of dental issues. Your Rochester dentist, Dr. Gilly Calcagno, explains why you should keep up with your oral hygiene practices and general dental care, no matter what has been dictated by your genes.

Oral Bacteria in Your Mouth

The amount of microorganisms living inside the human mouth might surprise you. They begin to form as soon as you are born. Babies are exposed to certain strains of oral bacteria through sharing cups and utensils, affection, and general interactions with siblings, parents, and caretakers. Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) is one of the most talked about oral bacteria. S. mutans are responsible for converting sugar into lactic acid, which weakens tooth enamel, and leads to tooth decay.

Nurture More Culpable than Nature for Healthy Teeth

Genome Research examined samples of saliva from multiple sets of twins – both fraternal and identical – to uncover the dominant factor in oral microbiota counts. Studying twins helped to focus on commonalities in genetics and environmental exposures. Identical twins share the exact same genetic material, yet salivary microbiomes in fraternal twins, weren’t any more similar. Fraternal twins only share 50% of the same genes. This led scientists to hypothesize that genetics is a lesser factor than environmental exposures when it comes to predicting dental health.

Schedule a Dental Examination with Your Rochester Dentist

No matter what you’re born with, there are always ways to improve your teeth. Whether you require general care, restorations to missing or damaged teeth, or cosmetic work to improve the look of your smile, we can help. Contact our Rochester dentist office at (507)281-3659 to schedule an appointment. We are happy to provide patients with comprehensive dentistry  in Rochester, Red Wing, St. Charles, Winona, Farmington, the 55902 zip code, and surrounding neighborhoods.