“Bad teeth just run in my family.”
There is certainly some truth in this; genetics definitely play an important role in our personal attributes. From eye color to personality quirks, we can credit a majority of characteristics to our parents, and our teeth are no different!
Unfortunately, some patients may end up being more prone to dental problems simply because of their genetics. So, how do they impact your dental health? Some of the most notable ways your genetic makeup influences your smile include:
Tooth Enamel Strength
The outer protective layer of the tooth, known as the tooth enamel, is a critical component of a healthy smile. Tooth enamel protects the inner layers of the tooth, where the blood vessels and nerves are located, from harmful bacteria.
However, not everyone’s tooth enamel is created equal. Some patients have softer tooth enamel, meaning that it is easier for bacteria to wear away the tooth.
Jaw size and other genetic-dependent factors are largely responsible for imperfections like overcrowding, gaps, overbites, and more. Misalignment isn’t just a cosmetic problem! In fact, these common flaws can lead to unusual tooth wear and difficulty with oral hygiene.
For example, a patient with overcrowded teeth can often find it difficult to floss properly. Over time, plaque and food debris can build up in these hard-to-reach places and lead to tooth decay or gum disease.
If one person in a family suffers from periodontal disease, there’s a good chance they’re not the only one. Genetic factors can play a critical role in the development of gum disease due to the body’s inflammatory response.
It’s estimated that up to 30% of the population may have a genetic susceptibility to periodontal disease. If you notice that gum disease is common in your family, we strongly encourage you to keep a strict oral hygiene routine and speak with a dental professional to counteract your susceptibility.
While genetics can make you more inclined to certain dental ailments, it’s nothing that proper oral care can’t take care of.
As a matter of fact, many patients may not have a predisposition for oral problems, genetically speaking, but have poor dental habits they picked up from their parents. This could range from dietary habits, like consuming sugary foods, or poor hygiene habits, like forgetting to brush or floss.
Despite your inheritance, being dedicated to taking care of your teeth is the best way to maintain a healthy smile. Proper dental health includes brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist for bi-annual check-ups. If you suspect you’re more susceptible to problems like tooth decay or gum disease, you may want to consider going to the dentist more frequently.
Don’t let your genetics dictate the health of your smile! Seeking professional dental care will make all the difference for your oral health. To learn more about the services we offer, contact our office today to schedule your next appointment with Dr. Paul Caputo.
Paul L. Caputo, DDS3490 E Lake Rd S Suite A