If you seem to have similar problems with the health of your teeth and gums that your parents did, it’s probably not your imagination. There is a genetic component to oral health.
Your DNA can influence a variety of aspects of your oral health, from the strength of your enamel to your susceptibility to gum disease to even the composition of your saliva. All of these factors work in concert to affect oral health concerns like tooth decay.
In fact, researchers have found that more than half of your risk of tooth decay is likely related to genetics. So, if your parents had a lot of cavities, it’s likely that you might have that problem, too.
As a result, your dentist may ask you about your family’s history of oral diseases to pinpoint any potential issues related to genetics.
Additionally, there is a genetic component to the shape of your facial structures and your teeth. For example, you may share your mother’s narrow jaw, which can lead to crowding of your smile. Your dentist may explore this aspect of your family history, as well.
Genetics are not the sole determinant of your oral health, though. Your oral hygiene habits play an important role, as well. Regular brushing and flossing, using proper technique, can help to overcome any genetic issues that could compromise your oral health.
Your diet matters, too. Limit sweet treats and acidic foods and beverages, like soda, that can accelerate tooth decay as well.
Semiannual appointments with your dentist also are essential to protecting your oral health, especially if you have a family history of oral diseases. These regular check-ups monitor your teeth and gums for signs of problems in their earliest stages when they can be most readily treated.
As is the case with your overall health, your genetic make-up has a significant amount of influence over your oral health. However, you still can take steps to reduce your risk of issues like cavities and gum disease. Check in with one of our knowledgeable staff members to learn more about your genetic risks and how you can protect yourself against them. Contact the office of Dr. Eric Smith at 940-321-2340 today to schedule your visit.