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Old 03-07-2004, 08:06 PM   #1
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ForgetMeKnot HB User
heredity tooth decay?

My boyfriend has some stains on his teeth right under his gums on a few of his teeth, I am going to get him crest white strips...But he says they won't help because "it is in his family to have tooth decay"....I dont beleive that tooth decay is hereditary, I think they just didnt have good dental plans or any at all.

His mother about 45 has false teeth, as well as his grandparents but so do mine as dental help wasnt around as much as it is now. His 12 year old brother who has learning disabilities and who is slightly handicapped, has false teeth also.

I have seen pictures of his younger brother and he had those silver caps on all his teeth, the picture looked like he was 4 years old.

So is heredity the problem if there is such a thing, or could they have a gum disease or something??? Or just not going to the dentist annually?

 
Old 03-08-2004, 04:17 PM   #2
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mysticvenus HB User
Re: heredity tooth decay?

I really think that heredity plays a part in how strong your teeth are. Both of my parents lost their teeth before they were 21. They made sure that I went to the dentist regularly. I had flouride treatments every three months, cleanings every six months, brushed at home but still at every examination I would have new cavities. At 43 I finally had to have my remaining teeth removed and dentures put in. My daughter also suffers from dental problems. Is it heredity? I sure think so.

 
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Old 03-08-2004, 10:14 PM   #3
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ForgetMeKnot HB User
Re: heredity tooth decay?

I read that the enamal and strength/structure of teeth are somewhat thought to be hereditary..

 
Old 04-27-2004, 12:14 PM   #4
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justice23 HB User
Re: heredity tooth decay?

I have the same dental problems my father had and I had far better dental care growing up than he did -- yet I still had pretty much the same issues. It's got to be a heredity thing IMHO. Unfortunately for him he was in the Army and being shipped off to Vietnam so they pulled his teeth. I have to go through root canals and crown's but at least I have teeth I guess?

-kevin

 
Old 04-27-2004, 01:04 PM   #5
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martid HB User
Re: heredity tooth decay?

Unfortunately, according to studies and my own experience, tooth decay has only a little to do with genetics. In my family, the ones who went to the dentist often and watched their diets had much better teeth than the ones who did not. Tooth decay is caused by sugars, starchy & acidic foods, in other words if you never consumed sugar you would never have cavities. Gum disease is caused by not brushing long enaugh and not flossing daily, therefore letting plaque accumulate. I had to have my upper extracted not because of my genes but because I had it in my mind I was cleaning my teeth once a day and that was good enough, and went to the dentist once a year and basically did not give too much taught on whether I was getting gum disease or not. Once it starts, (and I've had many perio. cleanings in my life and I just wasn't on top of it between cleanings I guess) it's extremely difficult to control. You have to stay on top of it for the rest of your life. The secret is to not let it get started. The good thing is I've learned my lesson and I stay on top of my kids dental health as a result.

 
Old 04-27-2004, 01:12 PM   #6
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justice23 HB User
Re: heredity tooth decay?

I think it is very debateable as to how much heredity plays a part as to how much "sugars, starchy & acidic foods" affects your teeth. I think it varies from person to person / family to family. My best friend MAYBE brushes his teeth once a day, hardly ever goes to the dentist and has only had one cavity his whole life. His father is the same way but his mother has problems with hers. My sisters both have decent teeth as does my mom. I have low chlorestorol like my dad where as my mom has high and so do my sisters. It's all got to be related somehow.

 
Old 04-27-2004, 04:12 PM   #7
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ysco HB User
Re: heredity tooth decay?

According to my personal knowledge, and in my own humble opinion, tooth decay has very little to do with heredity if at all. Heredity factors may have an impact on the teeth shape and size, but supposedly not more than that.

Tooth decay (caries) is caused by acids released from certain types of bacteria living on plaques on your teeth. Plaque is formed when food residues are not removed properly, giving the bacteria (living in everyones mouthes) a well nutriment, thus allowing them to grow and multiple until a solid layer of bacteria also known as plaque is formed. Then the bacteria release acidic substances that damage the teeth causing progressive decay. Main factor that encourage this process is improper dental care (insufficient brushing and flossing).

Since caries is not caused by the body itself, I very much doubt is has anything to do with heredity. Some heredity factors MAY (unknown to me) have some impact on the teeth which may make them naturally or unnaturally weaker and more prone to decay. The only thing I can think of is a reducted saliva production (very important to maintain healthy teeth) compared to other people. Anyway, you should not assume heredity is the cause of your problems and neglect your teeth. That would be very bad indeed...

Have you guys been flossing on a regular basis throughout your life?
Flossing is extremely important and as many dentists say even more important than brushing itself, since it removes food residues stuck between the teeth that most toothbrushes could not remove. Also, from my experience, even if you use flossing correctly and in a hasty way, it's unlikely you would remove ALL the food leftovers in less than 5 min, especially if you got crowded type of teeth.
So, it's very important to have all your food leftovers in between your teeth, all the more so if you consume sugar-containing foods. Since once you don't you give the bacteria plenty of food to form plaque, which can effect the entire tooth not just its sides.

My advice to everyone to maintain healthy teeth and gums: Brush thoroughly twice a day or more and paramountly floss at least once a day (never miss after last meal before going to sleep) preferably for 5 minutes or more. And, if you can, avoid foods that contain sugar and harsh acids. Periodic checkups and clearances by the dentist are helpful too.

take care...

Last edited by ysco; 04-27-2004 at 04:13 PM.

 
Old 04-27-2004, 06:59 PM   #8
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justice23 HB User
Re: heredity tooth decay?

Yes - I flossed good all the time. We were all (my sisters and I) kind of taught the same principles by my mother growing up. My dental problems started at exactly the same time as my father's, about 20 years old. I never had cavaties when I a kid and I used to eat a ton more sugar than I do now. It's just weird because my father and I have so many similar ailments that all started at about the same age. I'm not saying heredity caused all my tooth decay but it could've accelerated it somehow...

 
Old 04-27-2004, 07:43 PM   #9
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jasonandlee HB User
Re: heredity tooth decay?

I also believe it is hereditary I am 32 and about to get dentures, my father had them before 20 and my grandmother had them before 20.. The dentist told all 3 of us that we have no enamel on our teeth.. Now I have 4 kids 2 hardly ever have any cavaties and one has her fair share but my youngest has been thru it w/ the dentist... He is only 5 and has been to a dentist more than I have in my life.. I am scared of dentist but I wanted to make sure my kids didn't have the same fear so I started them out at the age of 3..

 
Old 04-27-2004, 08:14 PM   #10
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ysco HB User
Re: heredity tooth decay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by justice23
Yes - I flossed good all the time. We were all (my sisters and I) kind of taught the same principles by my mother growing up. My dental problems started at exactly the same time as my father's, about 20 years old. I never had cavaties when I a kid and I used to eat a ton more sugar than I do now. It's just weird because my father and I have so many similar ailments that all started at about the same age. I'm not saying heredity caused all my tooth decay but it could've accelerated it somehow...
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonandlee
I also believe it is hereditary I am 32 and about to get dentures, my father had them before 20 and my grandmother had them before 20.. The dentist told all 3 of us that we have no enamel on our teeth.. Now I have 4 kids 2 hardly ever have any cavaties and one has her fair share but my youngest has been thru it w/ the dentist... He is only 5 and has been to a dentist more than I have in my life.. I am scared of dentist but I wanted to make sure my kids didn't have the same fear so I started them out at the age of 3..
...
well, I was just pointing out that tooth decay itself has absolutely nothing to do with heredity. It is caused by bacteria colonies in our mouthes not genetics.

On the other hand what you are describing can be related to heredity factors in a way or another, although I still tend to think it is vastly related to your habits.

justice123: It's possible that you have caused your teeth progressive damage with excessive sugar intake when you were younger. Tooth damage doesnt have to be an instant (cavity), but can be rather slowly progressive to weaken the tooth, causing it to be susceptible to further damage.
And yes, heredity can have something to do with it, perhaps you and your father have more prone teeth than others, though still, you didn't necessarily have to have up with similiar problems.

jasonandlee: I never heard about people born without the natural enamel surface as part of their teeth. You should note that it is known that your teeth enamel can be strip off throughout the time (such as from too harsh toothbrushing, abrasive substances in some toothpastes, consuming acidic foods etc.). Once it has strip off, it does not grow back, living the tooth dentin more exposed, weaker, and susceptible to decay.
I believe this can be prevented following proper dental care. Also, any dentist should be able to coat a tooth without the enamel layer to protect it from possible damage. So for your kids sake it wouldn't hurt to have them checked by the dentist every few months, even those with seemingly healthy teeth.

Last edited by ysco; 04-27-2004 at 08:17 PM.

 
Old 04-27-2004, 09:06 PM   #11
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martid HB User
Re: heredity tooth decay?

I don't think anyone said they were born without enamel. But you can wear your enamel out by the time you are 20 yrs old if you grind your teeth at night or if your bite in very inbalanced. Once the enamel is worn out, you can't simply cover the tooth with "something", you have to crown it or veneer it. For kids who seem to alway have cavities at time of check up, the dentist can put a sealant on their teeth, I found it helped my kids, and most insurances will cover that if they are under the age of 15. It really reduces the amount of cavities they will get, since it's hard to get kids to brush properly.

 
Old 04-27-2004, 09:24 PM   #12
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Tessalou HB User
Re: heredity tooth decay?

My son who is 15 was just diagnosed with enamel deficiently. The dentist said in could be heredity or some other factor as a medicine I may have taken in early pregnancy. I donít know how many generations it could go back as me nor my husband had it. I lost my teeth to periodontal disease although I did have scalings and flap surgery done. Just didnít keep up with the every 4 month scalings. My husband has fairly good teeth just some with filling from cavities. We had to have all my sons front top teeth bonded and some of his back teeth.

 
Old 04-28-2004, 04:30 AM   #13
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sim884 HB User
Re: heredity tooth decay?

on the heredity issue, I was told by a dentist that my teeth were all deteriating (spelling?) slowly but surely. He told me that it was caused either by a nutrition deficit of my mothers during pregnancy or a deficit as a young child. That i didnt get the calcium or something similar as a fetus or young child, and that was the reason i didnt have strong healthy teeth. He told me that all my teeth would slowly rot away and their was nothing I could do about it. He tried to sell me on dentures that day. Quoted me a price and all. I was not ready for that step at that point. But I took his words and believed them. I then met my new dentist that did my extractions and denture. I asked him about it, he told me that with the proper care I should have no problems with the teeth that are still healthy. He didnt come out and say the other dentist was right or wrong just that I should be able to keep the remaining healthy teeth without them rotting away with the proper care. I sure hope so!!! I just hope down the road that the ones i decided to keep on bottom dont rot away as well. I am diligent on taking proper care of them, I guess only time will tell. I guess different dentists have different opinions on the issue as well.

 
Old 04-28-2004, 04:32 AM   #14
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ysco HB User
Re: heredity tooth decay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by martid
But you can wear your enamel out by the time you are 20 yrs old if you grind your teeth at night or if your bite in very inbalanced.
Grinding (bruxism) can also cause enamel to wear off, right. There are many other causes though as aforesaid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by martid
Once the enamel is worn out, you can't simply cover the tooth with "something", you have to crown it or veneer it.
Composite bonding works too, and it's the most simple and inexpensive technique. This can used mainly for the anterior teeth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by martid
For kids who seem to alway have cavities at time of check up, the dentist can put a sealant on their teeth, I found it helped my kids, and most insurances will cover that if they are under the age of 15. It really reduces the amount of cavities they will get, since it's hard to get kids to brush properly.
Yes, sealants role is generally to fill in spaces between the childrens teeth that food is likely to get stuck in. One doesn't have to wait until his/her child develops cavities, it can and should be done as a proactive measure.

 
Old 04-28-2004, 06:03 AM   #15
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jasonandlee HB User
Re: heredity tooth decay?

my son has had sealants and everything else.. I know we have spent almost 2000. on his teeth easily and that is with insurance.. I don't know if the dentist was ripping us off.. He was a pediatric dentist and was all about the preventive care...We finally took them to a normal dentist and after the 2nd cleaning was sent back to another pediatric dentist but this one was alot cheaper.. Different town.. The first was near Atlanta and we are half way between Atlanta and Columbus and the second one was in Columbus and you would not believe the price difference...When she referred us back to another pediatric dentist I cried cause I knew the money was not going to be there for me to go the dentist.. Have put myself off from going for almost four years now due to all the money we were spending on the kids w/ this other dentist.. He found problems every single time we went for a 6 month ck up and would only give the oral sedative to my son which insurance didn't pay for so that was around 300 a visit that had to be prepaid.. When we went to the other pediatric dentist he ask if we had tried the gas and we told him the other dent. didn't offer so he tried it and it worked and insurance paid.. So for any of yall that use or is going to use a pediatric dentist watch out and get second opinions..

 
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