Oral Health and Genetics

Oral health largely relies on your actions, which include properly cleaning and caring for your smile both at home and at your dentist’s office. However, factors beyond your control also contribute to the health of your teeth and gums. Genetics, for instance, could put you at a higher risk for certain dental concerns.

If a member of your family suffers from a specific dental issue, then you may face the same chances of forming this problem. But which oral health issues can occur for hereditary reasons? Read on to find three examples of dental problems that can develop due to genetic dispositions.

Oral Health and Genetics

Bite Problems

You likely heard that poor oral habits, like childhood thumb sucking or lip biting, could make your teeth crooked. This is true, but genetics play a major role in the shape and alignment of your teeth and jaw as well.

If you have a narrow palate, crowded teeth, or bite problems, these malocclusions might form naturally without your influence. Misaligned teeth might make you feel self-conscious about the appearance of your smile. But they can place you in greater danger for oral health problems, including TMJ disorders.

A dentist can use cosmetic dental solutions to fix small alignment concerns in your smile. But they may need to refer you to an orthodontist to address more severe bite problems.

Gum Disease

Gum disease refers to a common form of oral infection affecting the gum tissue. Though prevalent, it may cause severe damage to your gums, teeth, and jawbone without prompt treatment from a dentist. The infection will not go away on its own.

Poor oral hygiene allows your natural oral bacteria to spread more easily, which heightens your risk for gum disease. But some people have a naturally higher risk for this oral infection due to their genetics. You may have inherited more aggressive oral bacteria which could mean you are more likely to contract gum disease.

Seek routine periodontal disease screenings from your dentist as well as teeth cleanings for optimal preventative care. You will also want to continue good oral hygiene at home to reduce your risk of gum disease and the irreversible harm to your smile it can cause.

Tooth Decay

Cavities will affect most dental patients at least once in their lives. These early stages of tooth decay form when oral bacteria penetrate weak spots in the tooth enamel and start to eat holes into the dental structure. Decay worsens and spreads deeper into the tooth without urgent treatment from your dentist.

You can put your teeth at risk of decay when you neglect your oral health care or consume acidic substances like citrus fruits and juices. But genetics can increase your risk of cavities too.

Aggressive oral bacteria have a higher chance of hurting your teeth. And you can also inherit thinner or weaker tooth enamel. Ask your dentist about preventative dental care that can preserve your smile based on your unique dental structure.

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