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Dental caries infection in children is not linked to genetic factors

A study of twins in Australia says that environmental factors seem to be more responsible than genes for tooth decay.

For the study, the researchers followed 345 of the gestational twins at 24 weeks to six years of age, where they all underwent dental examinations.

By the time they were six years old, 32% of the children were lactating and 24% had dental caries.

To investigate the extent to which genes affect the risk of dental caries, researchers have examined the frequency of identical twins in the group and therefore have the same genetic map compared to incompatible twins in which children generally share half the genetic map .

The researchers found that the likelihood of identical or non-identical twin children, dental caries and cavities being nearly equal indicates that genes do not explain much about oral health and teeth.

"Environmental factors are therefore largely environmental and can be modified," Meheere Silva, of the University of Melbourne, said by e-mail. "This may refute the idea that individuals are genetically predisposed to having weak teeth and push us to find ways to deal with the risk factors we know." Mission for human health ".

In the study, published in the Pediatric Journal of Pediatrics, 60 to 90 percent of school-age children worldwide suffer from dental caries, which can lead to pain, inflammation and hospitalization.

Dental pain can also cause school absenteeism and malnutrition, which negatively affects the growth and development of children and negatively affects the quality of life of children and parents. The team added that dental hygiene in childhood is the strongest indicator of the health of the child. adult.

Three environmental factors appear to have an effect on the increased risk of dental caries, maternal obesity, dental enamel defects and lack of fluoride-treated water.

"Based on these findings from all available research, including our study, parents and families should focus on practicing overall healthy eating habits, including low sugar diets and regular dental cleaning," Silva said.

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