Do genetics play a role in the overall health of teeth?

You may think that you’re on track for good oral health if you stick to your brushing and flossing routine and avoid sweet treats. You’re counting on your semiannual visits to the dentist to keep your pearly whites in good shape.

All of this may not be enough, though. Your genes may still make you susceptible to decay, even if you’re taking every step within your power to prevent cavities.

The best dentists will ask you for information about your family’s oral health history in order to identify potential problems that may arise in your case.

First and foremost, your genes determine the constitution of your teeth. Some people may be cavity-prone regardless of how much they brush and floss, and that experience likely echoes that of their parents. Additionally, genetics influence the alignment of your teeth and jaws, which may also contribute to decay, such as when overly crowded teeth provide a haven in which bacteria may hide.

Don’t forget that the oral bacteria that cause decay have genes, too! Some research has found that parents and their children harbor cavity-causing bacteria with similar genetic makeup.

Evidence suggests that a family history of certain conditions, like periodontal disease, may increase a patient’s risk of developing those diseases. Additionally, genetics contribute to other oral health concerns, such as cleft lip and palate.

Research into genetic links of various oral health problems is ongoing, and our knowledge of these areas is continually expanding.

Having a basic understanding of your dental genetics can be useful. Your genetics play an important role in your oral health, so be sure to bring up any concerns at your next dental appointment.

A genetic predisposition doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re destined to develop a particular problem, though. The dentist may recommend certain preventative treatments or measures to help thwart the development of any oral diseases. Of course, you should still stick to your daily oral hygiene routine, regardless of whether nature has blessed you with unusually strong or fragile teeth!

Contact our team of experienced dentists serving Southlake Texas and surrounding areas to learn more.