Lack of Tooth Decay & Genetics/Longevity/etc?

Something I’ve always been curious about and thought you all might have some insights.

So for some reason I have super teeth or something, and I’ve never gotten a cavity or any other tooth/gum problem in my 45 years of life.

I think that’s unusual because I don’t avoid sugar, and I don’t take particularly good care of my teeth. I just brush in the morning and at night, that’s it. And I’ve never flossed or used any kind of mouth washes or anything. (In fact there was one time in the Army when we were in the field for a week and I just decided to not brush the whole time to see what it would be like. Very gross, I don’t recommend doing that, lol.)

I went to a dentist a few years ago (it was the first time I had gone in 15 years I think). And the dentist remarked how good my teeth were and that I must take really good care of them.

When I told her I don’t even floss, she seemed shocked and almost offended or something. She did say that occasionally there are people like me who simply don’t need to go to the dentist very often.

My 43 yr old brother is the same story, never had a cavity and I don’t think he takes particularly good care of his teeth either.

So, does that mean there’s probably some genetic factor? (Both of our parents have had cavities, though, and my daughter has had them already.)

Also, when I read that tooth health has some kind of effect on longevity, does that mean my dental history bodes well for me? Or does it mean I’m likely to suffer because I don’t brush/floss as much as some people?

Thanks for entertaining the question, it’s always been something I’ve wondered about!


I guess I’d ask–did you grow up in an area with naturally occurring fluoride in the soil and water?
That could do it.
Or it could be something else. But that’s wonderful you have such good teeth👍

…thought you all might have some insights.

Yes Phil, my adult children, mom… and grandmother all have perfect teeth.

I asked the dentist if we had genetically more enamel or something.

My DDS said, you have amazing teeth… at 65 years… they are more like someone in their 20’s.

He went on to say you and your children have antibacterial spit (dog spit - lol). It prevents decay. My wife is another story 4 root canals a mouth full of silver… so many fillings… crowns…from cavities. I always just have a cleaning… my wife always needs work of some type.

Enjoy your dog spit… not too common. Took this tonight after my workout. Love those pearly whites.

In undergrad microbiology lab (30+ years ago) we did an experiment where we swabbed our teeth and let it incubate in a Petri dish to determine if we had a particular bacteria that contributes to caries. I wish I could remember which bacteria it was but apparently not everyone has it because I was one who didn’t. I suppose one could eventually get colonized with that bacteria though. I’m sure that’s just one piece of it but I’d suspect good general health must contribute as well.