dental health can be inherited

Do Genetics Play a Role in Oral Health?

Certain diseases are associated with hereditary risks. For instance, cancer, obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure risks can have a genetic component. 

However, did you know that the health of your teeth and gums might also be influenced by factors which are not necessarily within your complete control? The good news is, you can offset the potential risks. 

Gum Disease

A growing body of evidence suggests that gum disease may be impacted by genetics. For example, you are at a higher risk of developing this condition if at least one of your parents has been diagnosed in the past. Other variables such as environmental factors and lifestyle habits will also play a crucial role. 

Tooth Decay

We are all aware that proper brushing and flossing alongside a healthy diet are some of the best ways to prevent cavities. However, your genes will also have an influence upon your susceptibility to tooth decay. Other evidence suggests that harmful bacteria may be passed from children due to poor hygienic practices (such as when sharing eating utensils). 

Once again, embracing the proper oral care habits is the best way to mitigate these factors. It has likewise been shown that the development of healthy tooth enamel can be influenced by genetic factors. 

Misaligned Teeth

Crooked teeth share a hereditary component. In other words, parents who may have required orthodontic work in the past are more likely to pass this trait to their child. The issue here is that such misalignments can also lead to oral health problems due to the fact that crooked teeth are harder to clean. 

Taking a Proactive Stance

It is clear to see that genes can have a profound impact upon the health of our teeth and gums. However, it is just as important to highlight other factors that are well within our control. 

Always be sure to adopt the proper brushing and flossing techniques. Implement a healthy diet and drink plenty of water so that your mouth remains hydrated. Speak with your dentist at the first sign of trouble, as small issues can be corrected before they become more serious problems.