«Bad genes» are not to blame in the development of tooth decay, say scientists

© Fotolia / RidoЖенщина an appointment at the dentist«Bad genes» are not to blame in the development of tooth decay, say scientists© Fotolia / Rido

Variations in the genes that control the growth and life of the teeth, do not affect the behavior of the microflora of the oral cavity and on the probability of dental caries in all years of life, say geneticists in an article published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe.

«Limiting consumption of sugar and maintaining a proper acid-alkaline balance for quite a long time are the pillars of modern dentistry. We found a few specific types of microbes that can get into our oral cavity from the external environment and cause tooth decay,» says Karen Nelson (Karen Nelson) from the J. Craig Venter Institute (USA).

In recent years, scientists actively debated whether there are any genetic factors that make a person more predisposed to tooth decay and emergence in the oral cavity of those strains of streptococci and other bacteria that are now associated with the appearance of plaque on the teeth and breakdown of their enamel.

Finding similar DNA alterations, as noted by Nelson and her colleagues, is hampered by the fact that the microflora can have much greater change under the influence of many other factors such as diet, hygiene and the presence or absence of bad habits. All of this complicates the search for «bad versions» of genes that control the growth and life of the teeth, and is not unambiguously declare that they do not exist.

«We conducted our research on children for two reasons. We assumed that the micro-flora of their mouth will very quickly change as they get older, and besides, children usually live together, eat the same food and have no bad habits. This allowed us to better understand the factors that affect their microflora were unique and which were common,» continues geneticist.

To search for such factors, scientists have typed two groups of children, one of which consisted of identical twins, with identical DNA and the same set of mutations, and the second from normal twins who had different genomes.

Having collected samples of plaque from the teeth of each of them, the researchers analyzed the species composition of microbes and tried to understand whether variations in the genes of the people themselves on how many useful and dangerous bacteria lives in their mouth.

Through this analysis, the researchers proceeded from the following assumptions: in case the «bad genes» do exist, then the composition of the microflora and incidence of caries in monozygotic and «normal» twins would have been different. If the microflora is mainly controlled by the diet and hygiene, then such differences should not be.

The situation was slightly more complicated than imagined, scientists. Such differences, as it turned out, was typical of children of kindergarten age, however, at the level of 10-11 years, they almost completely disappeared, and species composition of microbes have begun to influence diet and hygiene.

In any case, as the scientists, these relationships did not affect the development of caries, since variations in the genes of the twins were not associated with carious bacteria, and other microbes do not form plaque.

On the other hand, drinking large amount of sugar was associated with increased abundance of several microbial species, such as Rothia, Tannerella, Prevotella, and Selenomonas, which dramatically increases the likelihood of caries development. Therefore, scientists advise to look for the roots of dental problems is not «bad» genes and the incorrect diet and poor oral hygiene.


Be the first to comment on "«Bad genes» are not to blame in the development of tooth decay, say scientists"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.