Science&Tech Correlation between bad teeth and personality puzzles scientists By WeeklyNews staff Posted on July 3, 2019 6 min read Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Holes in the teeth depend not only on how well one manages their oral hygiene and how much candy one eats. Even hereditary traits and factors such as obesity, education and personality can play a role, according to the largest study in the field to date. The the teeth are part of the body becomes clear in the study. We can see, for example, that there seems to be a direct causal link between risk factors for cardiovascular diseases and caries in the teeth, says Ingegerd Johansson, senior professor at the Department of Odontology at Umeå University and the one who led the study. Caries and tooth loss are among the most common diseases in the world, with both suffering and high cost of care. Unlike several other people’s diseases, the knowledge of how the heredity, our genes, affects the risk of developing these dental diseases is still scarce. If two people who eat the same food and manage their mouths alike can still get different number of cavities in their teeth is known, but you have not really been able to explain why. Fewer holes with the right genes Previous research has suggested a number of genes as possible but none of them have been confirmed. This is partly due to the fact that complex diseases, such as caries and periodontitis, require large data to draw conclusions. The researchers were able to identify 47 new loci, i.e. places on the genome, linked to caries. The study also confirmed a previously known immune-related risk locus associated with aggressive tooth loss. Among the genes that could be linked to caries are those with known functions for the formation of teeth and jawbones, for the protection of the saliva and which affect which bacteria are present on the tooth surface. The gene that had the greatest effect could be estimated to make a difference between two caries-infested tooth surfaces. In plain text it means that the person who has this variation has two fewer holes in the teeth than the one who lacks it, everything else equal. The study The current study is a so-called meta-analysis where researchers have combined data from on the one hand nine international clinical studies with 62,000 participants, on the other hand data on self-reported dental health from UK Biobank with 461,000 participants in the UK. The basis has been analyzed with the scanning of millions of strategic points in the genome, the genome. It makes the study the largest of its kind. The study also looked at genetic linkage to cardio-metabolic public health factors such as smoking, overweight, education and personality. It was also possible to see a connection to dental health. By doing a special analysis, so-called Mendelian randomization, one could see that it is not just a matter of covariation but that there is also a direct causal relationship between caries and cardio-metabolic risk factors. It is valuable to be able to better identify which ones are especially at risk for problems with the teeth. But regardless of which heritage you carry, it applies to everyone that good oral hygiene and good eating habits are the most important thing you can do yourself to reduce the risk of caries and tooth loss, says Ingegerd Johansson.