Do Your Genetics Affect The Strength Of Your Tooth Enamel?

Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body. It protects your inner tooth (the dentin and pulp) from decay. Mature enamel consists of 96 percent minerals, 3 percent water, and 1 percent organic material. It is hard and fracture tough, yet tooth decay or childhood caries is a chronic worldwide disease. Caries begins on the surface of the tooth enamel and is initiated by pathogenic bacteria. As these microorganisms feed off of sugars and food residue remaining on the tooth surface they release acids that dissolve tooth enamel. Research indicates that caries is caused by not only dental hygiene, and nutrition, but by genetics as well. Read on to find out if your genetics affect the strength of your tooth enamel.

The Study

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation analyzed genetic and intraoral data from nearly 400 children and 700 adults. It was found that keratins, which are proteins associated with the strength of hair shafts, are linked to dental caries. Individuals with mutations in certain hair keratin genes were prone to increased dental caries. Tooth analysis of individuals that carried a variant of one of the keratin genes showed a reduction of enamel hardness and an altered enamel structure. Results of the study indicated that abnormal keratin gene structure associated with hair disorders may also be a major factor in the development of caries by compromising the integrity of the individuals tooth enamel.

About Your Lake Forest Dentist:

Aside from providing dependable general and restorative dentistry services to our community, Dr. James Fondriest also holds respected academic appointments at the Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, FL, and the Spear Institute in Scottsdale, AZ, and he is a former adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at the University of Florida Dental School. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, Dr. Fondriest combines his impressive array of experience with modern technology and caring, compassionate, knowledgeable staff, and we proudly serve patients from Chicago and surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (847) 234-0517.