• Oral Microbiome and Tooth Loss

  • Your oral microbiome may be more important than genetics regarding whether or not you’ll develop periodontitis. Periodontitis is an intense infection of the gums that can cause tooth loss. This bacterial infection causes the supporting structures that hold the teeth in place to become weak and inflamed. In turn, the supporting structures cannot properly hold teeth in place and tooth loss may occur. 

    A study was published in the International Journal of Environment and Public Health Research by some researchers at Okayama University in Japan on this matter. Their study shows that while genetics can account for susceptibility to the chances of some diseases developing, the oral microbiome might be more important when it comes to developing periodontitis. 

    The team from Okayama University discovered that the ratio between regional and local species diversity drastically differed between the two groups they were testing – a control group and a periodontitis group. It seems that the bacteria species present can be attributed to periodontitis. When they looked at the genetic make-up, they could not find a relationship between periodontitis and genetic polymorphism. From their deep analysis, the team came to the conclusion that your genes affect periodontitis less than your oral microbiome. 

    But what does that mean for us? Dr. Toyama, the team lead, says, “The fact that the prevalence of periodontitis is associated with the members of the microbiome rather than the genetic identity of the individual would motivate clinicians to pay more attention to microbiome composition than to host factors in the routine work of periodontal examination, and design customized treatment strategy for periodontitis.” So this research supports the importance of proper oral hygiene to fend off periodontitis. 

    You can read more about what Dr. Toyama and his team discovered regarding periodontitis and genetics here: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/09/210902125040.htm