Are diabetes and cavities hereditary?

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Studies show that when pregnant women take good care of their oral health, it’s more likely that the baby’s mouth will be healthy. Also, starting good oral health care routines at a very early age, as early as a few days after birth, can have long lasting impact. When parents practice good oral health, it's more likely that children will emulate and continue these habits.
There is a family predisposition for diabetes and cavities. While most people are aware that diabetes has a genetic component, few know about the family linkage with cavities. But even if your parents spent hours in the dental chair having their teeth filled, there are other factors that play a more important role in who gets tooth decay and who does not, including:  
  • Your lifelong exposure to fluoride (in the water and toothpaste)
  • Your personal oral care history or how well you brush and floss your teeth daily
  • The amount of saliva you have and what the saliva contains (specific enzymes and minerals)
  • Your diet and how frequently you eat and drink things containing sugar
To get insight into your family history, ask how many have dental problems at the next family gathering. It may surprise you to learn that you come from a "tooth decay" lineage. But don't stop there. Ask your dentist how you can limit decay with regular dental care and dental visits every six months.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.