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Your Looks and Dental Health: 1800Dentist.com

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and while some gentlemen (and ladies) may prefer blondes, others may fancy redheads, individuals with darker skin tones or even individuals with unusual smiles featuring diastema. Regardless of the physical featured favored, individuals with some specific physical traits may be at greater risk for dental health issues.

Most people have been taught that "beauty is only skin deep" and that it is what on the inside that really counts. While it is true that average looking people with fantastic personalities are often considered more attractive than their bland behaving counterparts, various scientific research has shown that their is a direct correlation between some physical traits and well being. Some examples include people with light eyes are more prone to developing cataracts than dark eyed folks (because light eyes are more light sensitive) and that individuals with dark skin have a stronger genetic disposition to develop sickle cell anemia (a genetic disorder) than lighter people. 1-800-DENTIST has found other examples of how your looks may impact your health.

Redheads Have Higher Levels of Dental Pain

Everyone has a fear or two and while blonde Jane may cringe at the thought of creepy crawlies, redheaded Laurie might have dental anxiety. While Jane may simply need to work out her fear on her own, chances are that Laurie's dental anxiety is linked to her red hair as research has indicated redheads experience higher levels of dental pain when visiting the dentist.

The findings are based on a study conducted by U.S. researchers from the Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland, Ohio) and School of Dentistry at the University of Louisville, Kentucky. Researchers studied 144 white adults and looked for the MC1R gene variant (a mutation) while gauging dental anxiety levels and if that prevented patients from seeking dental care. The researches found the gene variant in 65 of 67 redheads and 20 of 77 people with darker hair color. Those with the genes reported higher levels of dental anxiety and higher levels of lack luster oral hygiene.

Typically, patients that complain about an excess of dental pain benefit from a dentist delivering an extra shot of Novocain or other local anesthesia. Unfortunately, this technique will more than likely to fail on sensitive redheads as the research has also found that the gene mutation (MC1R) may affect the brain’s ability to process pain-blocking medication.

Dark Skin More Vulnerable to Nicotine Addiction

Smoking is far from glamorous as a matter of fact the vice has been linked to causing slews of health issues and dental problems including halitosis, tooth decay, gum disease and tooth loss. The habit is one of the most addictive and damaging out there and dark skinned people are more likely to get hooked and suffer a decline in dental health as a result.

Dark skin is a genetic trait influenced by the level of melanin, the tissue responsible for skin pigmentation. A study overseen by medical sociologist Gary King of the Pennsylvania State University and published in Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior has shown that nicotine natural binds to melanin and when it does the toxin metabolizes at a slower rate. Typically it takes the human body around two hours to process the compound, but the slower process associated with melanin will increase the odds of addiction. The more smoking a person does, the higher odds of an individual developing oral cancer and dental problems from the behavior.

Extra Weight Means Higher Odds of Gum Disease

Countless Americans are losing the battle of the bulge and as they pack on the pounds, they are negatively impacting their health. While some pleasantly plump people may just think that the extra weight just provides more for a person to love, the reality is being fat is not just a cosmetic issue, but one directly linked to a decline in health. Some health issues directly linked to obesity include diabetes, heart disease, various cancers, breathing issues and dental problems. The cause is suspected to be higher levels of oral bacteria that are present in overweight people of all ages.

Research conducted by the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine indicated that individuals that maintained a healthy BMI by eating a nutritious diet and working out, had a lower chance for developing gum disease than their pudgier and lazier counterparts. While reason for the link is unclear, the relationship being attributed to eating the right types of foods will naturally lower dental plaque build-up and while being overweight is linked to gum inflammation.

Larger children are no better off as the portly ones also stand a greater risk of developing dental problems. Research published by the Endocrine Society, indicated that 28 percent of children with tooth decay also were carrying extra body weight. The research gauged the association between unhealthy body weight and dental health in a group of 65 children ranging in age from two to five and the overweight ones had more occurrences of tooth decay than the kids with healthy body mass index (BMI) measurements.

No matter if you are a stout, dark person with naturally flaming red hair, or are long, lean and look like you should be gracing the pages of a magazine, dental care is a must for combating any type of dental health issues. Individuals who need to find a dentist in order to reverse the course of their dental neglect can call 1-800-DENTIST, 24/7 to get the name of a great dentist.

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