Blog Header

Do you get cavities because of your genes or what you eat?

Do you get cavities because of your genes or what you eat?

Oral health is a significant contributor to overall good health.

Oral health contributes to the ability to adequately and comfortably eat, speak and smile, and oral disease has been linked to systemic disease including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The most prevalent oral pathologic condition is cavities, and in spite of advances in prevention and management, 60-90% of school-age children worldwide get them. They often lead to pain, infection and even hospitalization.

Childhood dental pain and infection often results in poor nutrition, compromised growth and development, school absence and is a strong indicator of future poor oral health in adulthood.

The factors leading to cavities are generally considered to be both genetic and environmental. A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics suggested that genetic factors are relatively less important than environmental factors, which can be controlled and modified. Those factors include diet, community water fluoridation, oral hygiene and prevention strategies and early dental visits and intervention.

Advocate Dental Center Pediatric Dentists Drs. Joanne Oppenheim and Ricardo Mendoza similarly both agree that controllable environmental factors contribute to early childhood cavities more significantly than genetic predisposition.

How can you prevent cavities and tooth decay? Most important is having dental visits early in life and every six months, practicing excellent home oral hygiene and eating a low-sugar diet.

Dr. James Benz is the Chair of the Department of Dentistry at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago.

Related Posts

Comments

About the Author

Dr. James Benz
Dr. James Benz

Dr. James Benz is the Chair of the Department of Dentistry at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago.