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Can Genetics Affect Dental Health?

Good oral health comes from taking care of your teeth and gums with at-home oral hygiene and attention from a dental professional. But the look and feel of your smile can also be affected by factors beyond your control, such as your genetics. You might inherit certain risks of dental problems.

If you know that a family member suffers from issues with their teeth, you might face this same threat to your dental health. A dentist can discuss your medical history in relation to your existing dental structure with you. Then they can provide you with targeted preventative oral health care that will protect your unique smile based on your specific needs.

However, prior to this consultation with your dentist, it may help to know more about how genetics can affect your oral health. Read on to learn details about three dental concerns that can develop for reasons related to your genetics.

Can Genetics Affect Dental Health

Hereditary Dental Misalignment

Many people want to keep their teeth straight, but your smile can grow crooked for a number of reasons. Poor oral habits, especially during childhood, can make adult permanent teeth develop into a misaligned position. But jaw shape and other factors related to dental alignment can be hereditary.

Your genetics may give you overcrowded teeth, a narrow palate, or bite problems even without outside influences. Not only will these concerns affect your smile’s appearance. But they also can increase your risk of certain dental problems like TMJ disorders.

Invisalign and other cosmetic dental treatments can help to align and straighten your teeth. But more severe bite problems might need an evaluation from an orthodontist. Do not wait to talk to your dentist about dental alignment concerns.

Gum Disease Risk Factors

Gum disease refers to a common infection that affects the gum tissue. It develops when the natural bacteria in your mouth spreads to the gums. It can happen to anyone, especially if they do not keep up with good oral hygiene. In fact, about half of all adults in the United States will deal with gum disease at some point.

But some people can face a greater risk of contracting this gum infection because of genetic factors. You might have aggressive oral bacteria which can more easily spread to put you in danger of oral infections like gum disease.

Dentists will perform a periodontal disease screening during routine check-ups to diagnose and offer treatment for gum disease. Make sure you attend these dental appointments as recommended by your dentist to preserve your gum health.

Family History of Cavities

Most of us will form at least one cavity at some point in our lives. These early forms of tooth decay happen when oral bacteria eat away at weak areas of our teeth to create a hole in the tooth’s surface.

Poor oral healthcare can make your teeth weaker and more susceptible to decay. But those with inherited aggressive oral bacteria or a family history of weakened tooth enamel could be more likely to get cavities. Visit your dentist to obtain the dental attention you need to fight tooth decay and preserve your smile.