According to the latest survey results by DentaVox, people consider that toothbrushing and oral health awareness are more important than genetics for enjoying a healthy smile. Similarly, the majority of respondents believe that even identical twins develop varying degrees of caries despite genetic similarities. Yet, when it comes to conditions such as gum disease, 46% of respondents believe that the development of a severe condition is inherited.

Find out more key results in the infographic:

genetics and oral health

Ranking of genes and other factors for good teeth

For 28% of respondents, genes are the number one factor for good oral health. However, a closer look at the average ranking scores of genes and other factors reveals that oral hygiene and education are placed higher than the genetic mix-up. In other words, most respondents recognize habits as more important for healthy teeth than what you inherit from your parents. In comparison, scientific research has found that despite hereditary influences, the effect of lifestyle, environmental and genetic factors is combined.

Genetic predisposition to gum disease

The biggest share of respondents, 46%, agree that the genetic mix-up is a strong determinant of whether a person will develop severe gum disease or not. Only 17% of survey participants consider that the genes do not play a role in periodontitis development. The results are similar to findings from other studies which suggest that some genes can make people more susceptible to gum disease.

Tooth decay in identical twins 

For nearly half of the respondents, dental caries in identical twins is not the same. This result suggests that a large share of participants is not convinced of the genetic origin of tooth decay. This doesn’t come as a surprise considering that it is general knowledge (also supported by many studies) that frequent sugar consumption leads to caries. However, there might be a more complex relationship as to how genes affect the oral microbiome, and by that the susceptibility to tooth decay.

More interesting results on genes and oral health

Which aspects of oral health are most determined by genes? Which gender has healthier teeth? Check the live stats on DentaVox and find out what respondents think about these and other questions related to the genetic origin of good oral health.