Here’s how you can protect your teeth from genetic dental health issues.
Have your parents or grandparents lost their teeth early due to tooth decay? Are you young and frequently get cavities? Are you worried about genetic links to decay or other oral health issues? Should you be concerned?
These are common questions many patients ask. The simple answer is that, yes, some dental problems are hereditary. Does this mean you can’t enjoy a healthy smile?
How Genetics Can Affect Your Teeth
Your hair color and height are not the only things about you that are influenced by genetics. Your teeth are also affected – the size, shape, and color. However, this means that the risk of dental issues can also be passed down from your parents.
If you have oral health issues in your family, don’t worry, we are here to help. The Dental Anesthesia Center provides safe and comfortable dental solutions. Here are some common dental health issues related to genetics and how you can protect your teeth from them.
- Gum Disease – While gum disease is preventable, it is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the US. According to the CDC, at least 50% of adults have gum disease. Due to genetics, 30% of the population has a higher risk of developing it. If this happens to run in your family, you must floss every night and brush your teeth twice a day. Schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as you notice symptoms – red, swollen, or bleeding gums.
- Misaligned Teeth – Another common genetic issue is teeth that are crowded or crooked. This orthodontic issue is primarily caused by the size of the jaw, which is hereditary. You might also develop bite issues that result in chronic jaw pain, depending on the specific positioning of your teeth. The good news is you don’t have to live with misaligned teeth! You may be a candidate for clear aligners such as Invisalign.
- Tooth Decay – Certain gene variations increase the risk of decay in permanent teeth. While this risk is higher for teens and pre-teens, adults with chronic tooth decay may benefit from more regular cleanings and prescription toothpaste or mouthwash.
While your genetics may contribute to oral health issues, poor diet, smoking, and poor oral hygiene play the most significant role in promoting these diseases. Therefore, it doesn’t mean there isn’t anything you can do about it. Working with your dentist, you can design a personalized plan to ensure your teeth and gums stay in excellent condition.
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