Genetics Linked to Tooth Decay Risk
You brush and floss your teeth twice a day, see your dentist every six months, do your best to lay off the sweet treats, and still got the bad news at your last check-up—another cavity. What?! Why? How? According to a new study, your genes may be to blame.
For the first time, researchers have identified a gene complex that's responsible for the formation of tooth enamel—the hard, outer layer that protects the teeth from bacteria in the mouth that can cause decay. In this study, researchers determined that genetic mutations can trigger defects in tooth enamel, increasing the risk for cavities.
When the structure of tooth enamel is less stable, bacteria can penetrate the tooth more easily and cause decay—even when good oral hygiene is maintained. The development of new products that protect the teeth with defective enamel is an important goal in improving dental health.
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