British study suggests genetic link to tooth decay.
Article Type: Report
Subject: Dental caries (Research)
Dental caries (Genetic aspects)
Pub Date: 03/01/2011
Publication: Name: The Dental Assistant Publisher: American Dental Assistants Association Audience: Academic; Trade Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health; Science and technology Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 American Dental Assistants Association ISSN: 1088-3886
Issue: Date: March-April, 2011 Source Volume: 80 Source Issue: 2
Topic: Event Code: 310 Science & research
Accession Number: 264920667
Full Text: New research published in the Journal of Dental Research suggests that variations within an individual's taste pathway genes can impact their risk of dental decay.

There are numerous known factors that cause tooth decay, including the bacteria in the mouth, dental care routines, diet, the structure of the teeth, fluoride, salivary flow and the makeup of saliva. Previous studies have considered the influence of genetics on taste preference and dietary habits.

The study, "Taste Genes Associated with Dental Caries;' takes that discussion one step further, suggesting that genetic variation in taste pathway genes could be connected with an individual's risk of suffering from tooth decay. Researchers examined families' biological samples and demographic data and clinically assessed the health of their mouths, including the amount of dental decay.

Multiple single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) assays for each gene were performed and analyzed using transmission disequilibrium test (TDT) analysis (FBAT software) for the three stages of dental development (first teeth, mixed dentition and adult teeth). There were statistically significant connections between the taste genes TAS2R38 and TAS 1R2 and the risk of decay or protection against it.

Dr. Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, said, "Although this is an early study, it could pave the way for some interesting breakthroughs. A large amount of a dentist's time is spent dealing with dental decay. If we can tell in advance who is most at risk, then more preventive care can be given to protect those patients."

Decay is a major cause of fillings and extractions in the UK.
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