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Dental Decay

52 replies

nijinsky · 11/05/2011 22:52

DP has bad teeth and has just had another one taken out. I have good teeth with no such problems. DP says it is genetic and this is proven by the fact that he has had problems with his teeth since childhood. I say it is down to poor dental hygiene and that children don't experience dental problems unless their dental hygiene is at fault. I brushed my teeth religiously twice a day; he admits to not brushing his teeth every day.

DP's whole family say the same thing, except the brother, who has excellent teeth. I say most dentists would agree with me. Am I being U or not in my opinion?

(My parents both had terrible teeth, as did grandparents).

OP posts:

piprabbit · 11/05/2011 22:58

My DD was born with a condition where the enamel doesn't form properly on some of her teeth, so she is more likely to suffer from decay which cannot be prevented as the teeth do not have the enamel needed to protect them from decay.
This sort of problem is relatively common and can be associated with ceoliac disease, maternal illness etc.

So YABVU to assume that decay is always and only associated with poor dental care.


nijinsky · 11/05/2011 23:02

Such a condition has never been mentioned in the case of my DP. He does not have ceoliac disease and both he and his mother have always been in perfect health.

OP posts:

piprabbit · 11/05/2011 23:05

You said "children don't experience dental problems unless their dental hygiene is at fault". I'm saying you are wrong.


squeakytoy · 11/05/2011 23:05

Many dental problems are due to medication that we were given as babies/children, not poor dental hygiene or even genetics, although the actual shape/position of teeth can be genetic due to bone structure.


bruffin · 11/05/2011 23:07

both DS and my niece had problems with their teeth. DS's back teeth came through bad, we were told it was something that he had when the teeth were forming and could have been flouridosis.
My niece also had a lot of problems with her teeth and again dentists told my sis that this could have been something that happened in the womb.


nijinsky · 11/05/2011 23:09

I'm not referring to infants born with conditions. I'm referring to children with no such conditions who develop dental disease early in life.

OP posts:

nbee84 · 11/05/2011 23:12

As a child I cleaned my teeth twice a day and my sister as little as she could get away with! I had fillings and she didn't.

I still clean my teeth twice a day and I don't have a tooth in my head without a filling Sad. My dh cleans his teeth in the morning, never at night (which I hate!) and he only has a couple of fillings!


squeakytoy · 11/05/2011 23:13

That is what I explained though.

The medicine that we were given as children (roughly if you are now aged 35 or over) damaged our teeth, particularly when given to babies as it would damage the adult teeth that had yet to come through.

My own mum lost all her teeth in her 20's due to serious bronchial illnesses and the necessary medication.

You cant brush teeth that are not grown, and the damage to them was already going on.


Linnet · 11/05/2011 23:15

I'm of the opinion that bad teeth can be genetic. Both my dd's have had teeth removed due to tooth decay and they have very good dental hygeine. They both have always brushed their teeth twice a day, dd2 actually does them 3 times a day as they brush their teeth at school as well. Yet still their teeth have decayed and they've had to be removed.

When dd2 had to go into hospital last week to have her teeth removed the dentist made me feel like a bad mother as my dd was having teeth removed due to tooth decay. I felt awful and I felt that the dentist was quite rude as it was obvious that she does brush her teeth as the rest of her teeth are perfectly ok with no signs of decay whatsoever.
If my children ate sweets and drank fizzy juice at every meal and never ever brushed their teeth I would see the point of talking to me as if I didn't know how to look after my children's teeth but they don't and there was no need for it.

My dh and I have good teeth, my brother in law and my brother both have not so good teeth.


MajorBumsore · 11/05/2011 23:16

Well I have been told by two separate dentists that I have weak tooth enamel and will pass it on to my children in all likelihood. You sound a bit smug TBH. It's no fun having your teeth filled or extracted.


EricNorthmansMistress · 11/05/2011 23:16

It can definitely be genetic. My DH's family don't brush their teeth (cultural) and he and his older sister are the only ones who do daily (he only started after he met me!) In his country most people have only half a mouth of teeth by 40 (hardly surprising) including my FIL but my MIL has a strong and full set of teeth. They are a bit rank if you look close, around the gums, but clearly all present. DH went to a dentist for the first time in years a while ago, and his teeth were perfect. He has never had a cavity. My teeth crumble like chalk at the first sign of sugar, as do both my parents'. I don't think I have a main tooth that hasn't been filled, especially since having DS.


TeamLemon · 11/05/2011 23:22

Hello Eric! The TSA were wondering where you were!

I believe "weak teeth" is genetic. My family all have great dental hygiene, but Mum Dad and I have had a lot of fillings. I really hope my DC inherit DH's teeth. He doesn't brush regularly, goes to the dentist every 10 years or so and yet has good teeth.


bruffin · 11/05/2011 23:24

"I'm not referring to infants born with conditions. I'm referring to children with no such conditions who develop dental disease early in life."

You wouldn't know they were born with these conditions. There was no sign until my ds's adult teeth back teeth came through, front teeth are fine.


nijinsky · 11/05/2011 23:25

I don't see how it can be genetic, if my parents both had extensive dentures by my age, and my grandparents pretty much had all their teeth removed and full dentures. Most dentists agree with me - good dental hygiene and a health diet leads to good teeth. Obviously there are exceptions, but I was really shocked to find out that my DP didn't brush his teeth every day, never mind twice a day as a child, and its hard to believe that his problems are all genetic.

OP posts:

darleneoconnor · 11/05/2011 23:29

I dont think that just because you brushed once, twice, three times a day and still got dental decay means you have a genetic predisposition to it. Some people aren't very good at brushing their teeth eg only 1 minute, using worn out brushes, not using circular motions on all sides etc. Also lots of people never floss.

Diet is a major factor too. If you NEVER ate sugar you would not get dental decay.


piprabbit · 11/05/2011 23:30

Do you have details of all the medication taken by your DHs mother (while she was pregnant with him) and your DH while he was young? As squeakytoy has said, medicines can unknowingly cause problems for the adult teeth.


piprabbit · 11/05/2011 23:31

darlene, it's very hard not to eat any sugar at all. It would mean cutting out all fruit for a start.


thumbwitch · 11/05/2011 23:33

YABU. I have shockingly bad teeth, as does my Dad. My mum had very few caries and bizarrely, no plaque (even her dentist was shocked at that). My sister and brother have very few fillings. We all ate the same, I cleaned my teeth more than either of my siblings, but I'm the one with all the fillings.

So yes, I do believe that genetics plays a part in the quality of your teeth enamel; as well as diet and other substances that we take in.


BluddyMoFo · 11/05/2011 23:36

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nijinsky · 11/05/2011 23:36

I do piprabbit - both DP and his mother are proud of their health and never being on any kind of medication, and his mother often speaks of her perfect health while pregnant with all 3 of her children.

Its hard to avoid sugar but not hard to minimise the dental effects of it. Trying to eat sugary foods only before you usually brush, or brushing after particularly sugar laden meals will help a lot. If you drink fruit juice, drink it at breakfast and then brush, not all day. And yes, brush teeth properly so as to loosen any plaque, and don't rinse the fluoride away with mouthwash.

I'd really hate to be suffering as my DP is right now with his teeth. To me, not brushing your teeth twice daily when a child is pretty remiss.

OP posts:

5318008 · 11/05/2011 23:39

BMF that is an excellent post, erudite, well thought out and crafted



Serenitysutton · 11/05/2011 23:40

I don't understand how it can be genetic? They've grown, they're outside your gums now, the gums are holding them in, they're permenent. How can they be further influenced by any variable except the elements you expose them too? I can understand genetically they might grow wonky or something but I don't understand how decay- which is caused by plaque on the teeth- can have anything to do with genetics?

You can def have problems from medications but that's not what's being asked about, I don't think


BluddyMoFo · 11/05/2011 23:40

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

piprabbit · 11/05/2011 23:42

I'm not arguing that your DHs problems may have been caused by poor dental hygiene as a child.

I am arguing with your wild generalisation that all decay in all children is due to poor dental care.


FriedSpamButty · 11/05/2011 23:47

I had chicken pox when I was a few weeks old. When my milk teeth came through they all had a lovely brown line across them and started to decay meaning that I still have traumatic memories of having most of my teeth out aged about 4. It put me off dentists for years. I still remember lying flat out on the back seat of my GP's car, coming round from a 'gas' anaesthetic and spitting blood into a tissue that my DM was holding in front of my mouth. Lovely!

But OP my cousin is a Doctor carrying out research into tooth decay and tooth construction. Looks like it's mostly genetic! Disease is one cause but weak/poor enamel is likely to be passed down through generations.

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