Category: General Dentistry Resources

Can you replace metal fillings with white fillings

15 Nov 2019 by  admin in General Dentistry Resources, White Fillings

white fillings for a brand new smileMetal or amalgam fillings can be replaced with white fillings at the discretion of a dental professional. The former is made of a combination of silver, copper, gold, and mercury and are considered a durable, stable material. Although concerns have been raised about mercury, the FDA considers them safe. The American Dental Association also supports the use of dental amalgam as a reliable and effective treatment for dental decay.

Should I Replace My Metal Fillings with White Fillings?

Although the consensus is that amalgam fillings are completely safe, white fillings are more natural-looking and favorable to some for cosmetic reasons.

If your metal fillings have decay or are defective, it is important to replace them to protect the long-term health of your tooth. Amalgam fillings are generally used to restore large areas of decay on back teeth because it is considered the strongest material for fillings, especially for larger teeth that have a lot of daily chewing pressure.

If you’d like to replace a decaying metal filling with a white filling, it’s important to consult with a dental professional for approval. It is also possible to replace metal fillings with tooth-colored fillings as long as your dentist believes that the long-term health of your tooth will not be compromised.

What Are White Fillings Made Out Of?

Tooth-colored fillings, or composite fillings, are typically made of a mixture of acrylic resin and ceramic or finely ground quartz or glass-like particles and are used for tooth restoration. Composite fillings provide the most durability and resistance to fracture in small and mid-sized tooth restorations, which must be able to withstand moderate pressure.

Benefits of White Fillings

Your dentist can match a composite filling to match the color of your teeth so that it looks more natural. If restoring a small to a medium-sized tooth, composite fillings may also be a favorable choice for people who prefer as little dental work done as possible, as composite fillings can be bonded in place and do not require drilling.

White Fillings in Long Island, Suffolk County

At Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry, we are committed to providing the best in tooth restorations and other dental services to residents in Suffolk County and Nassau County. Schedule an appointment for a one-on-one consultation to discuss replacing your fillings with Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry today.


Additional Resources


Importance of Dental Visits Every 6 Months

6 Jul 2018 by  Ali Long in General Dentistry Resources

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends routine dental check-ups and encourages people to work closely with their dentists to develop a personalized treatment plan. While most children and adults are fine with a twice-yearly visit, individuals who have certain risk factors for developing periodontal disease may need more frequent cleanings.

Dental check-ups: how often do you need them?

If you smoke, have diabetes, are clinically obese, or have a family history of gum disease, you have a greater risk of developing periodontal infection, which can eventually lead to tooth loss. While few people relish the idea of sitting in the dentist chair, individual risk factors will determine the frequency of cleanings needed to maintain a happy, healthy smile.

Having a dental check-up once a year is acceptable in many cases but going every six months is an even smarter choice when it comes to your oral health. Why? Because your dentist can detect issues that aren’t obvious and prevent more serious complications down the line. The majority of dental problems — such as tooth decay or oral cancer — have few symptoms until they reach a more advanced stage. Unfortunately, by the time the patient experiences pain or notices something is “off,” more invasive treatments are needed. 

Here at Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry, we are firm believers in preventative care. Here are some of the reasons why patients benefit from a 6-month check-up.

Detect problems early

Professional teeth cleaning and polishing is just one of the components of a dental visit, which provides an opportunity to diagnose potential problems in their early stages. A thorough dental examination will look for evidence of tooth decay or loosened teeth, check for symptoms of periodontitis, evaluate overall gum health and recession, check for fillings that need to be replaced, and assess your bite and contact between the teeth.

X-ray diagnostics

Impacted teeth, abscesses, cysts and changes in the jawbone are invisible to the naked eye and can worsen substantially with time. X-ray images allow your dentist to pinpoint problems and develop a treatment plan.

Check for oral cancer

Oral cancer can become a life-threatening condition if not caught quickly. Those who smoke, chew tobacco or are heavy drinkers are at a higher risk. Your dentist is trained to look for subtle and more telltale signs and may use a non-invasive device to screen for abnormalities. An oral cancer screen is painless, takes less than 5 minutes, and may save your life.

Prevent gum disease

Even if you brush and floss meticulously, plaque and tartar can still build up. Visiting twice a year for cleanings can prevent this from happening and reduce the chances of developing gum disease. Your dentist can spot early signs of gum infection, perform a deep cleaning and recommend products and methods to keep disease at bay.

Schedule your dental check-up in Suffolk County

Do yourself a favor and stay on top of your oral health with regular dental check-ups. With routine appointments every 6 months, we catch issues sooner than later and avoid more invasive and budget-busting treatments.

We now have two dental office locations in Long Island. Call our Rocky Point or South Huntington practice and schedule your 6-month appointment today!

Additional Resources on Dental Check-Ups: 

  1. Colgate, How Often Should You Go To The Dentist?
  2. OralB, Importance of Regular Dental Visits

General Dentists vs. Cosmetic Dentists: What’s the Difference?

2 May 2018 by  admin in General Dentistry Resources

Dentist examining a patient teethJust like medical doctors can specialize in different fields, so too can dentists. The specialty of the dentist you go to matters more than you might think. A dentist’s areas of specialization speak to his or her training and credentials, as well as the availability of dental services in the office.

So take the time to do your research before you choose a dentist, and keep reading to learn about the differences between general dentists and cosmetic dentists.

What do general dentists do?

A general dentistry practitioner is the dental equivalent of a primary care doctor. Just as you would visit your primary care doctor for annual wellness exams, health screenings, and general symptoms, you would also visit a general dentist for check-ups and routine dental care. (You’d also visit a general dentist for professional teeth cleanings twice per year, but dental hygienists usually perform this service.) Some general dentists provide emergency services for problems like toothaches and avulsed teeth. Dentists examine x-rays, do oral cancer screenings, fill cavities, and treat gum disease. They also provide patient education services, such as by helping parents learn how to brush a toddler’s teeth or by assisting senior citizens in overcoming manual dexterity problems in order to maintain good oral hygiene.

What do cosmetic dentists do?

Cosmetic dentistry is a specialty field that focuses on the appearance of the teeth and gums, while also preserving good function and health. The closest equivalent to cosmetic dentistry in the field of medicine is plastic surgery. Plastic surgeons primarily focus on supporting the self-esteem and self-confidence of their patients by making aesthetic adjustments. However, plastic surgeons also focus on overall health and physical restoration, such as by performing breast reconstructions for breast cancer survivors.

Similarly, cosmetic dentists can restore a patient’s incomplete smile. When teeth have been lost due to gum disease, smoking, or physical trauma, a cosmetic dentist can expertly fit dentures or perform dental implant surgeries. CEREC crowns are another example of cosmetically pleasing restorations. Cosmetic dentists can also provide aesthetic improvements with dental bonding, porcelain veneers, gum grafts and reconstructions, and teeth whitening.

One of the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatments is Invisalign. It isn’t necessary to go to an orthodontist—who specializes in braces—in order to straighten your smile. A cosmetic dentist can provide convenient, comfortable, and discreet Invisalign treatment.

General and cosmetic dentistry: Together under one roof

Here at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry, we know your time is valuable. There’s no need to visit multiple dental offices—you can receive the high-quality care you deserve under one roof when you choose our modern office on Long Island. Choose a general dentist in Suffolk County NY who can provide preventive and interventional oral healthcare using the latest technology and advances in dental medicine. As cosmetic dentists, we look forward to helping new and current patients achieve gorgeous smiles they can be proud of. Call us today at 631-319-7891 to schedule a consult, and browse the rest of our website to check out our available general and cosmetic dentistry services.

Additional resources for dentistry patients

  1. American Dental Association, Dental Specialties,
  2. American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?

What is a Maryland Dental Bridge?

3 Nov 2017 by  admin in General Dentistry Resources

Given the advances in restorative and cosmetic dentistry, patients who are missing one or more teeth have several options for restoring their smile and confidence. Dental bridges are an effective and affordable restoration that are often used to replace missing teeth in qualified candidates. As its name implies, a dental bridge spans the gap created by one or more missing teeth.

Besides offering a superior aesthetic result, dental bridges also help restore lost functionality, allowing for easier chewing and speaking. These artificial replacement teeth also aid in promoting oral health, and are almost indistinguishable from your own, natural teeth.

The Maryland dental bridge is a conservative approach to replacing one or more lost teeth. Also known as an “adhesive bridge” or “resin-bonded bridge,” the Maryland bridge is a less expensive and less invasive alternative to a traditional bridge in which one or more imitation teeth (called pontics) are supported by crowns that are cemented into adjacent, healthy teeth.

Maryland bridge often used for front teeth

Maryland bridges consist of pontics, or artificial teeth, that are affixed with wings that are bonded to the posterior sides of the adjacent teeth. In the past, the framework of a Maryland bridge was only available in metal. Today, patients can choose from reinforced porcelain and zirconia, both of which offer a more desirable aesthetic result. The strength of the Maryland dental bridge is somewhat limited to that of the resin used to bond it. For this reason, it is more often used to replace lost teeth in the front of the mouth, as opposed to molars that are subject to strong biting forces.

This type of dental bridge may be used as a permanent tooth replacement option, or a temporary fix for patients who are waiting for implants or other permanent restorations.

Benefits and drawbacks of Maryland dental bridges

Like any type of dental restoration, there are pros and cons associated with a Maryland bridge.

The main benefits of a Maryland adhesive bridge:

  • Affordable – less costly compared to dental implants
  • Low risk – failed crowns are easily replaced
  • Time-tested – dental bridges have been used for decades
  • Fast procedure – the entire procedure is completed in less than 2 weeks
  • Less invasive – adjacent teeth do not need to be filed down
  • Pain free procedure

Potential drawbacks:

  • May not be suitable for replacing teeth in the back of the mouth
  • Metal wings may cause adjacent teeth enamel to darken
  • Porcelain pontics (fake teeth) may be lighter in color than your natural teeth
  • Not permanent – will need to be re-bonded very 5-8 years

Am I a good candidate?

Tooth decay and periodontal disease must be treated before a dental bridge can be placed. Patients who smoke or those who have unhealthy supporting teeth may not be good candidates for a Maryland bridge.

Maintaining good oral hygiene is very important for those with any type of bridge, since bacteria can build up around the dental restoration. Besides daily brushing and flossing, patients are encouraged to have professional cleanings twice a year.

Maryland dental bridge cost

Maryland bridges are an affordable, quick solution for patients who have lost one or more teeth and are committed to practicing good oral hygiene. To learn more about the cost of a Maryland dental bridge in Suffolk County, feel free to contact Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry. Request a free appointment by calling our office at 631.296.0588.

Additional “Maryland Dental Bridge” Resources:

  1. WebMd, Dental Health and Bridges
  2. Colgate, 4 Types of Dental Bridges

Tips for an Easy Back-to-School Dental Checkup

25 Aug 2017 by  admin in General Dentistry Resources

September is just around the corner, which means the beginning of a brand new school year! As summer vacation winds down and you start shopping for notebooks, backpacks, pencils and other supplies for your kids, don’t forget to include a dental checkup as part of your back-to-school routine.

Why is a dental visit so important – even if your kid’s teeth seem perfectly healthy? Did you know that tooth decay is among the most common chronic illnesses in children, responsible for the lion’s share of missed school days. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics cautions that 40 percent of children have some degree of tooth decay by the time they enter Kindergarten.

Back-to-school dental visit

A back-to-school dental visit can also help reestablish good brushing and oral hygiene habits that may have gone out the window during the summer, when normal routines are disrupted by camping trips, sleepovers and family holidays.

Here are a few more reasons to arrange a dental appointment before summer ends and school starts.

  • Scheduling is easier. Take advantage of the free time afforded by summer break and schedule a cleaning and routine dental exam so there’s less chance of missing classes or after-school activities. If cavities are present, there will be plenty of time to get fillings or any other dental work done.
  • Catch and treat dental problems early – Early detection of cavities or tooth decay means less costly and, sometimes, less invasive treatment.
  • Identify Big Picture issues – Besides a professional cleaning and fluoride treatment, the dentist will also be looking at the health of gum tissue, how the teeth are developing, if the bite is lining up, and whether or not orthodontic treatments may be indicated down the line. Teen Invisalign may be recommended for common problems such as crowded teeth, gaps, overbite and misalignment.
  • Boost confidence with a bright smile – Back to school means new clothes, new supplies, new friends and a dazzling, white smile. A happy, healthy smile is a confident one.
  • Reinforce good dental habits – Your dentist will help encourage and reinforce the practice of good oral hygiene at home, by brushing twice a day and flossing as directed.
  • Get a custom-made mouth guard – If your child plays sports, this is the perfect time to ask your dentist about having a custom mouth guard made to protect against tooth loss and dental injuries.

Preparing for a successful kids’ dentistry appointment

It’s perfectly normal for children to be anxious about a dentist visit, especially if it’s a relatively new experience. Help prepare your kid for a stress-free visit by following these tips:

  • Schedule the appointment during mid-morning or early afternoon hours when children are less likely to be tired or in need of a nap
  • Feed a light meal one hour before the visit to avoid hunger-related crankiness
  • Model positive behavior and leave your anxiety at the door. Even if you have dental phobia, it’s important to communicate only positive language to your children who often pick up on their parents’ fears and emotions.

Schedule your back-to-school appointment today

Every parent wants the best for their child, ensuring they are happy, healthy and equipped to tackle a new school year with confidence. When left unchecked, tooth decay and infection can cause pain, and interfere with speaking, eating and even concentrating in class.

Schedule your child’s back-to-school dental exam at Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry. Dr. Elliott and Dr. Nick are experienced pediatric dentists who specialize in issues common to children and teens.

Additional Back to School Dental Checkup Resources: 

  1. Colgate, National Children’s Dental Health Month
  2. Mouth Healthy, 5 Questions to Ask at Your Child’s Back-to-School Dental Visit
  3. Mouth Healthy, 8 Secrets to a Successful Back-to-School Dental Checkup

Do You Have Dental “Potholes”?

6 Jul 2017 by  admin in General Dentistry Resources

The term “potholed road” is familiar to everyone, but have you heard about potholed teeth? “Dental pothole” is an informal term given to a small depression or worn-off tip in your tooth enamel. These tiny perforations can become sensitive to the touch and temperature, and are more prone to tooth decay. Over the years, dental potholes will slowly enlarge, growing broader and deeper.

What causes potholes in your teeth?

Highly acidic beverages, including fruit juices made from lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, tomato or cranberry, can slowly break down enamel and soften teeth, making them more susceptible to pitting and damage. In addition, sodas, sugar-laden sports drinks, wine and beer can also take their toll when consumption levels are high. One of the easiest ways to prevent this problem is to rinse your mouth with water, or a mixture of water and baking soda, to help neutralize and bring up the pH level.

The beverages that you drink can seriously weaken enamel over time, but other activities and habits can also break or chip the enamel, causing dental potholes. Even though enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, it is no match for bruxism, or persistent tooth grinding or clenching. Some people grind their teeth unconsciously while they snooze, and others do so reflexively throughout the day while working, driving or concentrating on other tasks.

Bruxism affects millions of American adults and can be triggered by stress, certain medications, as well as improper tooth alignment. Unfortunately, teeth that have already been “softened” by repeated exposure to acids will suffer accelerated damage on biting surfaces when grinding or clenching occurs. Symptoms of bruxism include unexplained headaches, sore jaw muscles, increased tooth sensitivity, sleep disruptions, and teeth that are flattened, chipped or have small holes.

Other culprits that can make matters worse are hard-bristle tooth brushes (dentists always recommend soft bristles) and the use of abrasive whitening toothpastes.

Restore your smile

Dental potholes are easier and less costly to repair if they are detected early. Whether caused by misdirected forces on the teeth, chemical erosion from acids, or attrition (teeth grinding), treatments may include composite fillings, crowns, dental bonding, a custom night guard appliance, or improving the patient’s bite to enhance overall functionality.

Some of the first signs of tooth erosion and dental potholes include sensitivity, yellowing or discoloration on the enamel surface, cracks along the tooth edges and the beginnings of tiny pits along the chewing surfaces. If any of these symptoms sound familiar, don’t delay in calling Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry to schedule a free consultation. Dr. Elliot and Dr. Nick take pride in offering patients throughout Suffolk County and beyond the latest advances in cosmetic and restorative dentistry.

You can reach our Rocky Point, NY office by calling (631) 296-0602. 

Additional “Dental Pothole and Tooth Erosion” Resources: 

  1. WebMD, What Wears Down Your Teeth
  2. Colgate Oral Care Center, Can Tooth Enamel Be Restored?
  3. Mayo Clinic, Bruxism

How to Choose a Long Island Cosmetic Dentist

16 Sep 2016 by  admin in General Dentistry Resources

If you’re dissatisfied with your smile, consider consulting a cosmetic dentist. Cosmetic dentistry encompasses a range of treatments that can improve the look of your smile. Your dentist can develop a customized treatment plan depending on your specific needs.

You may want to brighten your teeth and remove discolorations, or you may need to fix chipped, cracked, misshapen or crooked teeth. There are a few factors you should consider when choosing the right cosmetic dentist for your needs.

Evaluate the range of services

Before making an appointment with a cosmetic dentist on Long Island, visit the website of the dental practice and check out the range of services available there. Most people prefer to choose a practice that offers a wide range of dental treatments to avoid having to go to different clinics for various treatments.

Consider your goals for your smile when reviewing the list of services available. Most cosmetic dentists offer treatments like teeth whitening, dental bonding, and dental veneers. Dentists practicing in more sophisticated clinics may also offer CEREC crowns, which can be fabricated directly in the office. Gum grafting and reconstruction is another advanced dental treatment that you may need to get the smile you want.

Look for special incentives

Dental care isn’t something that you should skimp on, but you can receive exceptional dental care and still get special incentives, depending on the office you choose. Check the website for current offers on initial exams and free consults with the dentist. Some practices may even offer discounts on restorative dental treatments like crowns, dental implant packages, and malocclusion treatments like Invisalign.

Check online testimonials

Online testimonials can help you make your final decision when selecting a cosmetic dentist. Of course, you’ll want to choose a dentist who has plenty of advanced training and experience working in the field. But for many people, it’s also important to select a cosmetic dentist with a personable bedside manner, who will explain dental procedures in a clear, easy-to-understand way.

Online reviews from current and past dental patients can let you catch a glimpse of the dentist’s personality and approach to working with patients. Past reviewers might let you know if the dentist and the staff go out of their way to make patients feel comfortable.

Cosmetic dentistry in Long Island

Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry is the restorative & cosmetic dentistry practice of Dr. Elliot Koschitzki and Dr. Nick Augenbaum. Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot are specialists in dental implants and other cosmetic dentistry procedures. At our Rocky Point office, you’ll be warmly greeted and all of your concerns will be thoroughly addressed. We even offer special discounts – just check our website for our current offers!

To accommodate the financial needs of all of our patients, we offer a range of payment options, including low monthly payment plans. Call us today at 631.319.7891 to find out for yourself why so many Long Islanders have chosen us.

Pediatric Dentists Ease Fear, Set the Stage for a Healthy Smile

6 May 2016 by  admin in General Dentistry Resources

As soon as those baby teeth come in, regular dental checkups are paramount for good oral hygiene. But what child loves going to the dentist? Dental anxiety often develops in our formative years, when strange sounds, smells and people can be downright scary. Distraught at the notion of pain or even separation from mom, little ones can – and often do — throw tantrums when it’s time for a teeth cleaning.

Though it’s perfectly normal for kids to be fearful of the dentist, avoiding routine checkups can be a big mistake! Twenty-five percent of children ages 2-5 have some form of tooth decay, which if left unchecked can cause serious bacterial infections and even interfere with eating and speaking.

At Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Elliot and Dr. Nick understand how overwhelming a trip to the dentist can be for young children, which is why their entire staff work hard to put little ones at ease. We know that parents want a pediatric dentist on Long Island who makes the whole experience as fun and relaxing as possible. Unencumbered by anxiety, your child can look forward to his 6-month check-ups, which helps set the stage for a healthy smile.

Dentistry for children

According to The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, toddlers should visit their dentist when their first tooth comes in or when they turn one year-old – whichever comes first. Your pediatric dentist will care for your child’s dental health from infancy all the way through adolescence, providing the following care:

  • Oral exams to identify tooth decay
  • Gum disease management and prevention
  • Repair of tooth defects and cavities
  • Discussing important dental habits like tongue thrusting, pacifier use, teeth grinding or thumb sucking
  • Explaining fun ways to encourage preventive care, including brushing, flossing, as well as periodic sealants and fluoride treatments
  • Evaluation of tooth development
  • Assessment of bite issues and future orthodontics for straightening teeth
  • Emergency repairs for fractured, lost or displaced teeth
  • Providing information on a tooth-friendly diet 

Beyond offering pediatric dental care in a gentle manner, Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot have a warm bedside manner that is kid-friendly and welcoming. Before any treatment is started, our team carefully explains what our patients can expect, so there are no scary surprises. When this approach isn’t effective, we can often draw a child’s attention elsewhere with engaging stories or conversations, and we do offer sedation dentistry in certain circumstances.

Pediatric dentist on Long Island

Whether you need pediatric dental care for your infant or teen, Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot can effectively ease your child’s apprehensions, turning their dental visit into a positive experience.  At our Suffolk County dental practice, we help guide children into adopting good oral hygiene habits and developing positive attitudes toward dental care. 

To arrange an appointment with trusted dentists that kids love, we invite you to call us today (631) 850-3145.

3 Interesting Things Your Smile Says About You

23 Apr 2016 by  admin in General Dentistry Resources

Everyone knows that a smile conveys happiness and warmth, but research shows that this simple gesture also tells people that you’re intelligent, confident and worth getting to know. Depending on the social context, the meaning of a smile – whether genuine or forced – can also change.

Smiles convey many different emotions, from elation and ecstasy to fear.  Some studies indicate that people who smile a lot are viewed as more trustworthy and honest, and smiling can send the message that you are more accepting of others and comfortable in your own skin.

Here are three other interesting things that a smile can say about you.

Your potential earning power

According to research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, teenagers who smile more frequently are more likely to earn larger salaries compared to those who do not. The 2012 study showed that smiling adolescents raked in 10 percent more money as adults (average age 29) compared to their non-smiling counterparts, who earned 30 percent less. The researchers determined that smiling is associated with overall happiness and reduced stress, which allows people to focus more positive energy on work-related tasks.

Your fertility and overall health

A 2009 study published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology tracked conception rates in women who had gum disease, which is linked to Type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and an increased risk of cardiovascular problems. The researchers found that women with periodontal disease took two months longer to get pregnant compared to those with healthy gums and teeth. Researchers believe gum disease, which causes persistent inflammation, is the underlying link.

How long your marriage will last

Other studies suggest that an easy grin may indicate your chances for wedded bliss. Psychologists poured over old yearbook photos, looking for “smile intensity.” They found that a quarter of non-smilers got divorced while the biggest smilers enjoyed lasting marriages. A separate study which looked at childhood pictures of people age 65 and older found children with the biggest grins experienced lower rates of divorce. Researchers speculate that smiling may attract a cheerier mate and may contribute to having a happier long-term relationship.

Overcome your smile anxiety

Smiling comes naturally to those with healthy, beautiful teeth.  However, many adults are reluctant to smile because of issues ranging from a chipped or missing tooth to discoloration. If you find yourself in this position, it’s time to set up an appointment with a Suffolk County cosmetic dentist to discuss your concerns.

Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot at Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry want their patients to smile with confidence each and every day.  Improve your self-esteem with the skill and expertise of our knowledgeable team, who boast extensive training in all facets of general and cosmetic dentistry.

Damaged or poorly shaped teeth may benefit from porcelain veneers, while CEREC crowns can protect a weak or discolored tooth. Our practice offers a wide range of tools and techniques to improve the look and functionality of your smile. And if you’ve been putting off your visit because of dental anxiety, rest assured that we offer sedation dentistry here in our Rocky Point office.

To schedule a free and private consultation for your smile makeover, please call (631) 850-3145.


  1. Huffington Post, 5 Things Your Smile May Say About You
  2. WebMD, What Does Your Smile Say About You

Are Bad Teeth Hereditary?

11 Mar 2016 by  admin in General Dentistry Resources

Your family’s medical history is a good predictor for your general risk of developing diabetes, heart disease or cancer. But research indicates that genetic factors also play a role in your risk for tooth decay and gum disease.

According to the director of the Center for Craniofacial and Dental Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, roughly 60 percent of dental health is influenced by genes, while the rest can be chocked up to proper oral hygiene, environmental factors and lifestyle. This may help explain why some individuals who rarely floss, eat tons of sugary sweets and brush less than they should never develop cavities, while the most diligent of flossers and tooth brushers are prone to gingivitis, receding gums and decay.

Studies suggest bad teeth are partially hereditary

Why is this news so important? By understanding your genetic dentistry, you can be proactive in the care of your teeth and gums, protecting your pearly whites for years to come. If left untreated, tooth decay and cavities can lead to periodontal disease and tooth loss – a prospect few people want to face.

Dr. Mary L. Marazita of the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine breaks down the science of genes and how they affect our risk for tooth decay. She says that genes are partially responsible for certain taste abilities as well as dietary and sweet preferences, which all influence our susceptibility to cavities.

Low mineral saliva

Saliva that is rich in minerals like potassium and calcium helps fight acid erosion on tooth enamel, thus reducing the chances of decay. Scientists have discovered gene variants that make some people better at metabolizing these minerals better than others, making them less likely to develop cavities.

Inherited soft tooth enamel

Thin or “soft” tooth enamel, which is more vulnerable to bacterial invasion and infection than hard enamel, is also largely determined by genetics.

Preferences for sweets

Gene variations also affect our food cravings, especially for sugary treats. Research indicates that candy-holics (those with a super strong sweet preference) are more prone to cavities.

Genetic influences on taste ability

Your ability to enjoy and taste a wide range of foods is also influenced by genes. Researchers have found that people with a broad genetic taste ability profile are less inclined to suffer from tooth decay.  The reason for this link is not clear, but some speculate this variety may keep us from snacking on too many sweets.

Hereditary immune response

Further studies at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine have found that variations in a gene called beta defensin 1 (DEFB1) affects the rate of cavities and periodontal disease in study participants. The findings make sense considering that DEFB1 is one of our first-line immune responses against germs.

If you practice great oral hygiene, get regular cleanings and yet are still prone to cavities, it’s time to have a personal consultation with Long Island dentists, Dr. Elliot and Dr. Nick. After evaluating your medical and genetic dental history, they can offer suggestions that take into consideration your current lifestyle habits and concerns.

Get back in the driver’s seat when it comes to your oral health: contact Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry today at 631.319.7891.


  1. CNN, Bad teeth? Blame your genes
  2. Colgate, Genes May Be Linked To Tooth Decay, Gum Disease
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