Many people ask if genetic predispositions have an effect on the health of the mouth – especially teeth. Like any other health system, genetic factors do influence oral health. In fact, there are a number of congenital conditions that can affect the health of the bones, gums, and teeth. Since the development of conditions is sometimes beyond a patient’s control, it is important for folks to receive regular professional oral care. Our family dentist provides preventive and restorative treatment for patients of all ages.
What are some examples of genetic oral health problems?
Common genetic conditions that can affect the health of teeth and gums include deformities like cleft lips or cleft palates. These conditions can be addressed with corrective oral surgery and if left untreated, can contribute to the development of gum disease, tooth decay, and orthodontic issues.
Another common genetic influence behind the durability and strength of teeth is the thickness and density of tooth enamel. Some patients can be born with thin or non-existent tooth enamel and thus be very susceptible to the development of dental caries and cracked or chipped teeth. Tooth enamel is a mineralized part of tooth anatomy that surrounds a tooth’s structure above the gums. Healthy tooth enamel protects the softer structures of teeth from cavity causing bacteria. When enamel is thin or weak, however, teeth are very vulnerable to decay and breakage.
What steps should I take to prevent dental conditions?
Even if you have a family history of oral health problems or believe that genetics may be stacked against you, there are steps you can take to prevent oral health issues. We recommend that patients commit to healthy habits such as reducing sugar intake, avoiding acidic foods and drinks, and practicing thorough and adequate oral hygiene. Additionally, regular dental checkups with our family dentist are essential to detecting problems as early as possible.
Call our practice today to schedule a checkup or cleaning.