Genetic Influence on Behavior and the Impact on Oral Health Conditions

  • Alexandre Rezende Vieira


In all likelihood, behavior is a complex trait that is defined by variation in more than one gene, and therefore it cannot be explained, nor properly and fully assessed, by a dichotomous state [e.g., biological sex (female and male) cannot be assumed to perfectly predict sexual orientation]. Like other complex traits, behavior is best assessed by a continuous variable (e.g., height according to the metric system, weight in kilograms, measuring the pressure of the blood in the circulatory system, measuring blood sugar levels, and measuring intelligence quotient from standardized tests designed to compare one’s score to others of their own age). Behavior change is something the dental professional is constantly aiming to change in their patients, via oral hygiene instructions, suggesting changes in diet, suggesting the use of specific at-home products, and/or establishing a regular regimen of follow up visits. Understanding how genetics influence behavior will explain why in many instances, the dentist is not successful in getting their patients to change.


Behavior Oral hygiene Intelligence Risk-taking Sexual behavior Genetics Heredity 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandre Rezende Vieira
    • 1
  1. 1.Oral BiologyUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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