Tooth Decay -Genetic or Environmental?

September 4th, 2019

It’s easy to blame somethings on our parents, but recent research shows that you shouldn’t blame tooth decay on genetics. In the past it has been thought that our risk of developing cavities is similar to our family members. However, more research is showing that tooth decay boils down mainly to environmental factors rather than genetics. Although we can’t just easily point to our parents when we develop a cavity, this can be a good thing because tooth decay is largely preventable! Take a look at what influences your risk of tooth decay and how you can prevent it:

Interestingly enough, we are made up of good bacteria that help us survive. However, some of the bacteria found within the mouth can feed on sugars within the foods we eat and lead to tooth decay. These bacteria produce acids that wear down our tooth enamel and create what we all dread and know to be cavities. These bacteria often come after birth, and with more research specific bacteria are being found to play a role in creating cavities. While some bacteria we do inherit from our parents, others that have been linked to causing dental cavities are not found to be associated with genetics, including Streptococcus mutants, and Porphyromonas gingivalis. The study conducted by the J. Craig Venter Institute in Maryland evaluated 485 pairs of identical and fraternal twins within the age range of 5 to 11 years old. When analyzing the study participants’ dental plaque and bacteria present within the mouth, they found that environmental factors played a significant role in the type of bacteria present that were associated with causing tooth decay. The bacteria responsible for causing tooth decay were mainly due to factors including diet and home care dental habits such as brushing and flossing. However, family history is important when looking at risks of tooth decay, for instance similar food diets shared between family members could increase or lower the risk of tooth decay.

What you may be able to blame genes for is the development of teeth. Such as the relationship between your teeth when biting together, the timing in which your teeth first appear, or even the size of teeth (macrodontia or microdontia).

So, while somethings you may get away with being able to blame your parents for, tooth decay is largely in part influenced by environmental factors. This is why it’s extremely important to get regular dental check-ups, and practice good oral hygiene care to ensure that your teeth are healthy and lasting lifetime!

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or to set up an appointment.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist, Dr. Derek, and Dr. Emad is happy to help with your TMJ and orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs, Dr. Stephens would love to help, and our gum-specialist Dr. Singh can help with your gum-related concerns.




Festive Stress Taking a Toll on Your Mouth?

December 15th, 2018

As we approach the holidays, it can be an exciting, yet stressful time as we prepare to decorate, shop, and entertain for our loved ones. Even traveling, finances, or just having a large to-do list can add stress to your body and oral health. Sometimes you may not notice the negative impact that stress is causing to your teeth. Take a look at these common stressors and how they could be harmful to your smile:


Snoring does not only cause loud noises at night time-It could also be causing issues with your oral health! Snoring occurs when there is not enough air moving through the throat and nose while sleeping. Snoring could be a result of many conditions, and some risk factors include being male, 40 years of age or older, family history of snoring, and pregnancy. A main complication of snoring is dry mouth. Dry mouth occurs when there is a lack of saliva, which is necessary for neutralizing acids made by bacteria within the mouth, and for moistening your gums and teeth. When there is a lack of saliva you may develop oral problems such as bad breath (halitosis), burning mouth syndrome, cavities, gingivitis, or mouth sores. Depending on the cause, interventions can include an oral appliance, weight loss, or a reduction in alcohol or smoking.

Tooth Grinding

A commonly known issue impacting your teeth is called bruxism, also known as tooth grinding. This often occurs during your sleep which can make it hard for you not to notice. In addition, jaw clenching can also cause similar effects including wearing your enamel down, gum recession, and weakening the supporting structures in your mouth that keep your teeth in place. Not to mention, it can also break or chip existing fillings in your mouth. Grinding and clenching are often due to anxiety or stress, but can also be caused by an abnormal bite. Some of the signs that can clue you in that you may be clenching or grinding include a sore jaw when you wake up in the morning, or your partner may notice clicking sounds during your sleep. Not to worry though, there are treatment options that can fix this. A night guard may be suggested, or relaxation methods including exercise or other stress management interventions may be advised by your dentist to prevent damaging your pearly whites.


Depression is a common condition for many individuals, and it can come and go in spurts during a person's life. It is important to talk with a Doctor or someone who can help if it begins to interfere with daily life including with the care of your oral and overall health.

Holiday stressors are real! Stay stress-free this holiday and be sure to keep up on health. Brushing, flossing, and making sure your scheduling your regular dental check-ups is particularly important during the holidays when lots of sweets are involved!

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Aliand their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emadis happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghaziwould be more than willing to help.

The caring team at Wellesley Dental Groupwill be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.comto set up an appointment and consultation.



TMD (Temporomandibular Disorders)

June 25th, 2012

Although commonly referred to as TMJ, the actual name is TMD (temporomandibular disorders). This refers to a number of disorders of the jaw. TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is the hinge joint that connects the jaw to the skull. This allows a person to talk, chew, etc.

There is no one thing that causes TMD. However, it is thought to come about from muscle or TMJ problems. Injury can cause it, such as being in a car accident and suffering whiplash. Also, teeth grinding and stress have been linked as culprits.

A variety of symptoms can arise, alerting a person of possible TMD. Locking of the jaw and jaw pain are common problems along with swelling and sensitivity.

At Wellesley Dental Group, Dr. Emad Abdallah specializes in TMD. He has a certificate in orthodontics and Masters of Science in TMD and Orofacial pain from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Please contact us at 781-237-9071 or to schedule an appointment today!

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