Dental News

The link between genetics and your oral health

September 20, 2019

The link between genetics and your oral health

If you are lucky and have never had a cavity or gum issues, you may be few of the lucky ones with good genes. For the majority of people, cavities and gum diseases may occur more frequently than average even when we brush and floss daily. If you have ever wonder why is it that some people have fewer problems with oral health than others given that they both practice good dental hygiene. A person’s gene or genetics may enhance a person’s teeth resist tooth decay or gum diseases.

Examples of Inherited Traits

The genes you inherit from your father and mother determines a lot of your teeth’s characteristics. Genes can affect the size, color, shape, and alignment of a person’s teeth. These characteristics can have a significant impact on your oral health. For example, crowded teeth can make it hard to brush and floss thoroughly. When plaque or tartar is not removed during brushing, this can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Your genes can also determine the size, shape, and spacing between teeth. The shape of your teeth determines its function and how well it aligns with the adjacent teeth. Mishappened teeth can cause you to have a poor bite, and chewing can become difficult. Don’t let your genetics get you down, so much of these dental issues can be corrected by visiting your dentist.

Genetics also determines the qualities and thickness of tooth enamel. Some people have thinner enamel than others; this can lead to a higher occurrence of tooth sensitivity and fractures. The enamel is the first line of defense against the daily wear and tear that we put on our teeth. A thin enamel that demineralizes faster may lead to frequent cavities and early tooth decay.

Other genetic abnormalities that can have a significant effect on oral health are cleft lip, cleft palate, and amelogenesis imperfecta. These genetic abnormalities only affect a few percentages of the population. However, these health conditions can be treated.

Oral Cancers

Oral cancers can be preventable if you visit a dentist for regular check-ups and avoid exposing the mouth to carcinogens such as chewing tobacco, smoking, and excessive alcohol use. Even if these external environmental risk factors are avoided, genetic changes have been discovered to be linked to some cancer of the mouth. If you have a family history of oral cancer, be sure to let your dentist know. They can conduct oral cancer screenings during your visits.

If you have questions about your oral health please give California Dental Group at (800) 407-0161 a call to schedule your next appointment.

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