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Blood Type and Dental Caries


I am curious about the incidence of dental caries as it relates to the different blood types. Understanding the variety of organisms that can inhabit the mouth and proliferate causing oral disease,your comments about this as it relates to blood types and the incidence of caries would be appreciated. I am type A-, age 36, and tend to have "pits" in my molars which seem to last about 10+ years before a dentist decides to fill them as surface cavities. So far, I have only had 4 surface "cavities". Thank you!


There are a few studies on blood type and dental caries (cavities), and in general it appears that blood group A may have lower levels of cavities than the other blood groups, especially if the group A subjects(1) were SECRETORS.(2) It appears that the secretion of our ABO(h) antigens into saliva probably inhibits the ability of bacteria to attach to the tooth surface,(3) since many of these bacteria possess lectins on their surface which they use to attach to body surfaces, and many of these lectins are ABO(h) specific. Also, non-secretors tend to have lower levels of the IgA class antibodies in their saliva, which may compromise their ability to keep bacteria counts low.

It has been noted that many groups with high rates of caries have low rates of periodontal disease, and vice versa. This may be true of blood groups as well. Type O has been known to have lower frequencies of periodontal disease (4) perhaps because they carry both anti-A and anti-B antibodies, thus being protected again more strains of periodontitis-causing bacteria than A, B or AB.(5)

1. Arneberg P, Kornstad L, Nordbo H, Gjermo P. Less dental caries among secretors than among non-secretors of blood group substance. Scand J Dent Res. 1976 Nov;84(6):362-6.

2. Holbrook WP, Blackwell CC. Secretor status and dental caries in Iceland. FEMS Microbiol Immunol. 1989 Jun;1(6-7):397-9. PMID: 2631879; UI: 90212306

3. Haertig A, Krainic K, Vaillant JM, Derobert L. [Medicolegal identification : teeth and blood groups]. Rev Stomatol Chir Maxillofac. 1980;81(6):361-3. French.

4.Kaslick RS, West TL, Chasens AI. Association between ABO blood groups, HL-A antigens and periodontal diseases in young adults: a follow-up study.J Periodontol 1980 Jun;51(6):339-42

5. De Tomasi A. Related Articles[Agglutinogens and isoagglutinins in human saliva]. Rass Trimest Odontoiatr. 1970 Jul-Sep;51(3):137-46. Italian.

The Ask Dr. D'Adamo internet advice column ran from 1996 to 2009, at which time Dr. D'Adamo's teaching and programming responsibilities no longer allowed him to devote time and resources to directly answering visitor questions. However we've recently reorganized this treasure-trove of material and made it again available to his readership. He occasionally posts new entries. These are marked with a NEW tag.

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