According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, genetics may increase your chances of getting cavities and even inheriting a sweet tooth. Some patients with average to poor oral hygiene rarely if ever get cavities. Other patients with diligent home care who floss and brush regularly are often told by their dentist that they have cavities. Dr. Michael Glick, a professor at the School of Dental Medicine at the University at Buffalo and editor in chief of the Journal of the American Dental Association, explains how genetics may increase your chances of getting cavities in baby teeth by up to 64%. Genetics affect the way tooth enamel is formed. Different variants of enamel may be better or worse at resisting acid erosion.
Dr. Glick says “(i)t’s hard to separate a high-sugar diet that will predispose one to develop cavities from a genetic predisposition.” Community trends in cavities are usually a result of dietary habits but current research is nevertheless showing a genetic component.
Even if someone is genetically susceptible to cavities, the fact remains that you need sugar in your diet to get a cavity. You cannot get a cavity without sugar. Avoiding sugar products that cling to teeth is the best preventative measure you can take. If you think you are more susceptible to cavities make sure you follow hygiene recommendations- brush twice a day, floss regularly, rinse with mouth wash, and see a dentist at least twice a year. “Don’t sweat the genetics, he says. “See your dentist often, brush regularly and get your cavities filled quickly,” whether your parents had lots of cavities or not.”