Tooth Decay and Gum Disease May Be Linked to Genes

Do you know people who are diligent about their health but still prone to gum diseases or tooth decay? It might not be their fault. Their condition may be linked to their genes.

According to scientists from the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Dental Medicine, certain genes variations are the cause of aggressive periodontitis and tooth decay. Dr. Alexandre Vieira, one of the researchers, said that the rate of dental caries is influenced by individual variations in a gene known as defensin 1 (DEFB1). This gene plays a major role in response against germs.

By analysing about 300 dental records and saliva samples from registry of the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, the researchers gave each case a DMFT score (based on number of teeth that are missing, filled and decayed) and DMFS score (based on the number of teeth that missing, filled and decayed) Generally, people with fewer carriers boast of lower DMFT and DMFS scores. Also, the researcher found that all saliva samples had one of the three variants, dubbed C-44G, G-52A and G-20A, of and the DEFB1 gene.

The G-52A polymorphism was linked with lower DMFT scores. People with a G-20A copy had DMFS and DMFT scores that were five-times higher compared to individuals who had other variants.



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