Your genetics can determine a lot about you – your hair colour, eye colour, and even some medical conditions, but are dental issues genetic? The answer is, yes. There are some dental issues which can be passed down between generations, from how your teeth will look to overall tooth and gum health. This new post discusses some common genetic dental issues, and what you can do about them if you decide to take action against them.
How your teeth look
Your genetic make up can affect the shape, size and position of your teeth, as a result of your jaw size, which often dictates how your teeth will be aligned in your mouth – a larger jaw might result in teeth with gaps and a smaller one can result in crowding of teeth, and a crooked smile. However, just because you were born with misaligned teeth it doesn’t mean they have to stay that way forever. You might choose to have your teeth straightened or whitened, with braces or other cosmetic dentistry options which changes how they look permanently.
How healthy your teeth are
Genetics can also determine how healthy your teeth are likely to be, as issues like weak teeth or a higher propensity for cavities can be inherited from your parents. For example, your genetics can determine how hard or soft your tooth enamel will be, and therefore how likely you will be to experience decay.
For decay or cavity related problems, you might experience these due to inherent defects, but they can also be caused by trauma or poor brushing techniques. Similarly, if you weren’t taught good dental hygiene practices when you were young, which form into healthy habits as you get older you might find that you require fillings, just like your parents.
This doesn’t mean that you’ll be afflicted with these conditions your whole life however, as there are external factors which can contribute to these conditions too, regardless of your genetics. Things like not flossing regularly, or dietary factors like eating too much sugar can accelerate these common dental complaints and have nothing to do with your heritage.
How healthy your gums are
Gum health is an essential part of oral hygiene that many people choose to overlook, and yet it’s the key to maintaining a healthy smile as you get older. Genetics can play a factor in gum disease, making some people more likely to experience this, however again there are external environmental factors which can influence this, such as being a smoker, or in some cases pregnancy can play havoc with your gums. In the case of poor gum health, it is essential to develop good oral hygiene habits including daily flossing to manage this condition and prevent future tooth loss and infections.
Regular visits to the dentist
It is recommended that you visit your dentist every 6 months, and if you have hereditary conditions which are likely impact your tooth and gum health, you might need to visit more frequently. We can help you by tailoring a lifetime treatment plan for your mouth to ensure that just because you inherited some dental issues it doesn’t mean that you have to live with them in discomfort or embarrassment.