Perhaps you have your mother’s eyes or your father’s smile. Maybe you tend to laugh at the same jokes, or you share the same talents with one of your parents. Genetics have an effect on…well, everything. Each part of you from your appearance to your personality is strongly influenced by it. This, of course, means it also can significantly impact your oral health. So if your parents have bad teeth, is it likely you’ll have bad teeth as well? Your Juno Beach dentist wants you to know a little more about how genetics can influence your smile.
Genetics and Your Teeth
The science of genetics is advancing faster and faster as time goes by, and we’re continually finding out just how much is dictated by it. When it comes to your oral health, this can be both good and bad depending on your particular genes.
Your susceptibility to common dental issues like tooth decay and gum disease is, in fact, dictated by your DNA. Specific genetic variations have been shown to be connected to a higher incidence of cavities. This can be because your enamel is naturally thinner, making you more vulnerable to plaque, or that your mouth doesn’t produce the right amount of saliva (which is important to keeping a healthy environment for your teeth). Something more noticeable, like misaligned teeth, can also make cavities more inevitable, as they are typically harder to clean.
Gum disease also has a connection to genetics. Scientists have discovered that if a person has one particular gene, when active, it can increase their risk of gum disease by as much as 70%. This can stem from having poor circulation, or a weakened immune system.
This means that your oral health is largely influenced by factors that are out of your control, but fortunately, it can easily be managed.
What You Can Do
Factors such as diet and dental care can easily balance out the genetic factors that impact your oral health. Simply brushing and flossing every day, along with moderating your intake of sugary foods, can keep any smile healthy. Of course, complete dental care also includes routinely seeing your dentist in Juno Beach for regular cleanings and check-ups. These visits help cover the holes in your home routine, as a cleaning from a skilled hygienist can reach areas of your teeth that you can’t at home. They also give Dr. Riley and Dr. Keuning the chance to catch cavities and gum disease early, as they can be very difficult to notice in their early stages.
While genetics definitely play a big role in your oral health, they don’t have to be the dictating factor. Consistent daily care and seeing a qualified dentist regularly are basically all a smile needs to stay healthy. You have no need to worry if “bad teeth” run in your family, because you have the power to control it.
If you’d like to know more about how your genes affect your teeth, or how you can take care of them, please give us a call today.