San Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA
We inherit many traits from our parents, from eye and hair color to personality traits. Many people believe the condition of their teeth is even inherited, but new research says otherwise. So, you no longer can blame your bad teeth on your genes! Find out what is really causing you to have bad teeth and what you can do about it to get back on track to good oral health.
The study was conducted by the J. Craig Venter Institute, a non-profit genomics research center, that examined twin siblings and the cavity-causing bacteria levels in their mouths. You can read the summary of the study that was published in a Newsweek article in 2017. The article goes on to state that while the twins were shown to have inherited oral microbes, they aren’t the kind of microbes that cause cavities. Instead, cavities are due in part to what you eat and your lifestyles choices.
Some details of the study include that the researchers looked at sets of twins, both fraternal and identical, ranging in ages from 5 to 11. The study concluded that humans don’t inherit cavity-causing bacteria from their parents, but instead, the bacteria accumulates as a result of poor choices such as eating too much sugar, and not taking good care of their teeth or not brushing and flossing daily and skipping dental visits.
The study goes on to include that inherited microbes decreased with age, which means that by about age 11, those inherited microbes were reduced. We can’t help but make the comparison here that while children get cavities, many adults do too, which, if the inherited microbes reduce with age, this further supports the fact that diet and lifestyle most definitely are to blame for poor oral health.
So, what does all of this mean for you? Well, it means that you are in charge of whether you get cavities or not, for the most part, anyway. While diet has a lot to do with getting cavities, it doesn’t mean that you can never enjoy sugar again or carb-loaded snacks like crackers or chips, but just consume them in moderation. At the very least, brush your teeth after indulging. It’s best, however, to limit your consumption of processed snacks, such as chips and crackers, and anything with processed sugar.
Here are some additional tips to help you improve your oral health
Instead of snacking on sweets and salty snacks, choose crunchy, raw fruits and veggies, such as apples, or carrot or celery sticks because they actually help clean away stuck on bacteria and leftover food particles that are responsible for tooth decay. Also, sip on water or another sugar-free beverage of choice throughout the day instead of drinks with sugar. Chewing on sugar-free gum that contains Xylitol also helps reduce your risk of cavities, although you still have to brush twice a day and floss daily. We will say that again, floss daily. We emphasize flossing because, while many people follow through with daily brushing, flossing just isn’t on their to-do list, but it should be. Flossing removes bacteria and food particles from between your teeth. Not flossing is the equivalent of brushing only two-thirds of your teeth – it’s the only way to clean these interproximal areas between teeth, so don’t skip it. And, remember to visit your dentist twice a year for dental checkups and cleanings. Follow these suggestions to lower your risk of cavities and gum disease.
If you find that you develop any cavities, tooth pain, or gums that are sensitive and bleed easily, it is a sure sign that you need dental treatment right away. Your Bay Area dentists can provide treatment for cavities, receding gums, and gum disease, and we look for these issues, among others, during your twice-yearly checkups and cleaning appointments. So, don’t skip going to the dentist!
Dental Checkups in San Francisco
If you would like to learn more about guarding your oral health, or to schedule an appointment, just call Glen Park Dental by calling (415) 585-1500. We welcome patients of Marin, Oakland, and San Francisco.