So Today I had 5 minutes to spare (surprisingly!) so I caught up with some dental news, and this extremely small “article” (more like an aside) caught my eye!

They started off by informing me that Tooth decay is not solely down to personal oral hygiene but genetics as well. Although I knew that dietary choices (Sweets, fizzy drinks, Juice, cakes – all the beautiful things in life!) have a direct impact on cavity formation, genetics are also a factor!

Note: Just to clarify, these are cavities!Cavity

(Sometimes referred to as Caries)

They are holes in the tooth which are formed when plaque erodes the enamel. The picture shows cavities on different parts of the tooth. If left untreated, they can cause further problems such as toothaches, infections as well as tooth loss.

collagenA new study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation reveals that keratins are important to the structure of tooth enamel. Keratin is a fibrous structural protein which is involved in the formation of skin and the strength of hair and nails.

(On the left is an example of a fibrous protein structure)

Those at the national institutes of health discovered that individuals with mutations in their hair keratin gene are more prone to have cavities than those who have the normal gene. Those with the mutated gene had a weakened tooth enamel structure due to its irregular shape.

At this point the article ended… and I was left wanting a more in depth explanation!

What sort of structural arrangements will weaken tooth enamel?

Can these people have any treatment to re-strengthen their teeth?

How does it work genetically?

What Gene is affected?

I will endeavour to go back and find the answers to my questions and hopefully share them with you soon! Or, If your reading this and can’t wait for me to find them first, research the answers yourself and leave a comment below!

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you soon!