Oral Health Quiz: Nature vs. Nurture

October 23, 2012

Genetic predispositions exist for a number of characteristics. Increased risk of lung cancer and heart problems can pass from generation to generation. Ideally, many of these patients take necessary precautions like avoiding cigarette smoking or maintaining an exercise routine. However, what role does genetics play in oral health? Your Lake Orion family dentist, Dr. Brad Greenfield, developed a short quiz to test your knowledge on nature vs. nurture in regards to oral health.

Oral Health Quiz

Do identical twins possess more similar microbiomes than fraternal twins?

A. Yes

B. No

Which factor plays a role in altering microbiome similarities?

A. Proximity

B. Exercising

C. Increasing duration of sleep

At what age do microbiomes reportedly undergo the most change?

A. 65 and over

B. 18 to 35

C. Early childhood

D. Adolescence

Oral Health Answer Key

The answer to question one is B – no. According to the recent study published in Genome Research, no significant differences appeared during analysis of salivary DNA of identical and fraternal twins. Researchers studied twins in order to determine if genetic predispositions affected their respective microbiomes. Since identical twins showed little notable similarities over fraternal twins, score one for nurture in the battle of oral health supremacy.

The answer to question two is A – proximity. During this recent study, scientists sought to establish a variance in microbiomes when twins lived apart from each other. The study concluded the microbiomes of twins altered when they lived apart. This discovery provided more concrete evidence that oral health care and environment plays a larger role in the state of microbiomes than any naturally occurring traits.

The answer to question three is D – adolescence. After studying previous findings, researchers concluded that the most drastic changes in microbiomes occur during adolescence. The scientists could not determine an exact cause for the increased changes during adolescence, but noted puberty or behavioral issues could contribute to the microbiome alterations.

Schedule Your Visit

Interested in learning more about the role oral care plays in maintaining optimal oral health? At Lake Orion Family Dentistry, we provide comprehensive dental care for the whole family. Contact our Lake Orion cosmetic dental office by calling (248) 693-6213 to schedule an appointment today. We proudly serve families from Lake Orion, Clarkston, Auburn Hills, Oxford, and Rochester Hills, the 48360 zip code, as well as many other areas in southeast Michigan.

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