You may be proud that you got your love of rock and roll music from your Woodstock-attending parents, but wish they’d handed down a better set of teeth to you.
Find out what your dentist in Putnam has to say about the role of genetics in keeping your smile healthy and beautiful throughout your lifetime.
Could my dental issues be due to genetics?
Dental issues can definitely be inherited! Studies show that as much as 60% of your tendency for tooth decay is at the mercy of your genes.
What oral health factors can be inherited?
It may surprise you to know that some of those factors aren’t limited simply to your teeth. Scientists have identified these top five genetic markers that play a role in oral health:
- Your cravings for sweets (which impacts tooth decay tendencies)
- Softer tooth enamel (which makes your teeth more susceptible to bacteria)
- The ability to perceive certain tastes (which affects what you choose to eat)
- Saliva components (some people’s saliva contains minerals that make teeth stronger)
- The balance of bacteria in your body (which are reflected in your mouth)
What factors can I control?
It may only be when you begin to experience dental issues that you discover a predisposition to certain family traits. These can be disheartening, but the good news is that families often pass down bad habits that can be changed!
If 60% of oral health is inherited, that still leaves 40% that you can influence through:
- Reduced sugar consumption (especially from soft drinks)
- Excellent dental care habits
- Dental products that contain enamel protectants and flouride
- Preventive dental visits
- Promotion of healthy gut bacteria through diet and reduced antibiotic use
If you find that your excellent oral hygiene habits aren’t protecting you from tooth decay as well as you’d like, do a little detective work with family members to determine if genetics might be at play. Find out what kind of dental issues they’ve had and why. Then discuss your concerns with your dentist to find out ways to improve your hygiene habits and learn about treatments that can help you put the control back into your own hands.
About the Author
Drs. Carolyn & Walter McGinn and Dr. Eleni Milas help patients overcome genetic dental issues with preventive, restorative and cosmetic dentistry performed in the most comfortable, conservative and affordable ways possible. They’re committed to being the friendliest office around! To find out how they can keep you smiling, contact them at (860) 928-3723.