Researchers have recently discovered factors like genes could play a huge role in tooth decay and gum disease - common dental issues many across the globe develop.
"The study makes it clear that teeth are part of the body. Among other things, we can see that there seems to be a causal link between risk factors for cardiovascular disease and tooth decay," Ingegerd Johansson, from the Institute of Odontology at Umea University, Sweden, told a news portal.
Researchers have known people can have a number of cavities even if they consume the same food and care for their teeth in the same way as someone who doesn't develop these issues. Why this occurs is yet to be answered. Now, a new study claims hereditary traits like genes may be a reason why this occurs. To find out, a team from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom (UK) conducted the research.
Even though multiple studies in the past have discovered that genes may have an influence over this issue, researchers have been unable to identify which ones can have an impact when it comes to tooth decay and gum disease. For the study, researchers examined the data of 62,000 participants from nine international clinical studies. They also studied self-reported dental health from the UK Biobank, which included 461,000 participants. The team was looking to identify genes that may have a link to dental diseases.
Through their investigation, the team was able to detect 47 news genes connected to tooth decay, as well as an immune-related gene associated with periodontitis, also known as gum disease. Researchers also discovered the genes that help to form teeth and jawbones have links to tooth decay.
To further understand the connection with dental health, the team also made notes of the genetic links to metabolic and cardiovascular health. These factors included obesity, education, personality and smoking. By using a technique called Mendelian, the team discovered there is also a link between tooth decay and risk factors of cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.
“In the future, studies like this may pave the way to identifying people who are at particular risk of dental problems,” Simon Haworth, from Bristol Population Health Science Institute, told a news portal. “However, no matter what genes people carry, good oral hygiene and diet are the most important things people can do to reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease,” Haworth said. The study's findings were originally published in the journal Nature Communications.
Previous research discovered a Chinese herb could help tackle tooth decay. An active ingredient of Galla Chinensis could help treat this ora health issue. However further research is needed to fully understand its effect.