Some things pass down from generation to generation. Poor joint health, poor vision, and an increased risk of heart problems are all forms of genetic predispositions. Is the same true for oral health? If your parents suffered from gum disease, are you already on a collision course for gum disease? According to a new study published in Genome Research, genetic predisposition may not play such a large role in oral health. The dentists of Riverside Dental Group discuss the recent study and findings regarding nature versus nurture in terms of oral health.

The Study Conducted

In order to determine a link between genetics and the microbial make up of an individual’s mouth, scientists studied two groups of twins. The scientists studied microbial DNA found in the saliva of all the twins studied. Two types of twins were studied. Half of the twins were identical, while the other twins were only fraternal. By studying the microbial DNA of all the twins, they sought to find concrete evidence of genetic predisposition, or evidence of environment playing a more substantial role.

Conclusive Findings

After studying the saliva from the separate sets of twins, scientists determined that identical twins did not live with more similar microbiomes than fraternal twins. This alone indicates that nurture plays a larger role than nature in determining the microbial make up of saliva.

Additionally, the study concluded that the microbial differences expanded when the twins lived apart from their respective twins. This also indicates that maintenance plays a larger role than genetic predisposition to oral health issues. This study also determined that a community of microbes and bacteria exist which could be common to all humans. Determining the various types of microbes and how they affect all humans can provide evidence needed for future studies on effective treatment plans for patients suffering from oral health issues.

Schedule Your Visit

Are you interested in learning more about how to nurture your oral health environment? Riverside Dental Group provides comprehensive dental care for our patients in our 92504 dentist office. Contact us by calling (951) 689-5031 to schedule your appointment today. We welcome patients from Riverside and all neighboring communities.