Role of Genetics in Oral Health

Good oral health largely relies on your own actions. You must care for your smile through proper oral habits at home as well as regular care from your dentist. But factors outside of your control, like genetics, can also influence the well-being of your smile.

For instance, if you have a family member who suffers from a certain dental issue, there is a chance that you could develop this problem as well. But which dental concerns can stem from your genetics? Read on to discover three threats to your oral health that might develop due to an inherited problem.

Role of Genetics in Oral Health

Dental Misalignment

If you have gaps between teeth, overlapping teeth, or otherwise crooked teeth, a number of factors could cause the misalignment. Childhood habits like thumb-sucking or lip-biting can push at the teeth and cause bite problems or dental alignment issues.

But genetics will also impact the alignment of a patient’s smile. They can inherit a narrow palate, small jaw size, and many other problems within the bite or dental alignment. Visiting a dentist at an early age can help spot early signs of malocclusions. If left untreated, crooked teeth or bite problems may lead to serious oral health issues like TMJ disorders.

A dentist can fix smaller alignment issues in the smile with Invisalign or other cosmetic dental solutions. You may need to consult with an orthodontist to amend more severe malocclusions.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is an infection of the gum tissue that affects about half of adult dental patients in the United States. Despite its prevalence, many people do not realize that gum disease can cause irreversible damage to your smile.

In its early stages, you may notice inflammation and irritation in the gums. But as gum disease advances, you can see deterioration in the gums, teeth, and jawbone.

Anyone can contract gum disease. It develops when natural oral bacteria reach the gum tissue and infect it. You will need periodontal therapy from your dentist to treat gum disease. But you can keep excess bacteria at bay with preventative care like proper oral hygiene.

Some patients might be more vulnerable to gum disease due to aggressive oral bacteria, which can be inherited. If this is the case, your oral hygiene regimen might not be enough to fight gum disease. Make sure you attend regular check-ups at your dentist’s office to find optimal preventive periodontal care for your unique smile.

Tooth Decay

Most of us will form a cavity in a tooth at some point. A cavity develops when oral bacteria infiltrate a weak spot in the enamel, the outer layer of the tooth. Then decay begins to eat away at the dental structure to create a hole in the tooth’s surface, a cavity.

A dentist will need to treat a cavity with a dental filling, or the decay will worsen. If you have aggressive oral bacteria due to genetics, you may be more susceptible to tooth decay.

Practice good oral hygiene to keep your teeth strong enough to resist decay. Attend check-ups at your dentist’s office to get the preventative oral health care that you need.