Do Genetics Play a Role in the Overall Health of Teeth?

Posted by: Jason Hui, DDS, on October 5, 2013

So much of who we are can be attributed to our genetic history. After all, genetics help to define our personalities, our hair color, and even the shape of our nose. Genetics also play a strong role in influencing our oral health.

The shape and size of your teeth, the width of your smile, your potential need for braces, and even your risk for certain dental diseases can be strongly dictated by your genetic predisposition.  If those inherited traits are thought to pose a health risk or a cosmetic risk, they can be addressed and possibly prevented with the help of your family dentist. 

The shape and size of your teeth, the width of your smile, your potential need for braces, and even your risk for certain dental diseases can be strongly dictated by your genetic predisposition.

For example, think about dental diseases such as cavities and gum disease. Both are caused by the presence of certain bacteria. Of course, these bacteria can be controlled by routine dental care and your personal oral hygiene habits, but studies have shown that some of us tend to naturally harbor more of these germs than others.

If your parents were challenged by the diseases that these bacteria are known to cause, there is a reasonable chance that you may also be challenged by them throughout your lifetime.

What if your parents were born without their first molars? Or maybe your mother was affected by a small jaw or crowded teeth? There is a strong possibility that you or your siblings (or even your own children!) might also be presented with spacing issues or crowding. It would be reasonable to expect a recommendation for orthodontic treatment or another corrective procedure.

Your family dentist can help to predict the dental challenges that you are likely to face by asking questions and considering information about your family’s dental history. Find out how genetics might be influencing your oral health by contacting the office of Drs. Jason and Nelson Hui to schedule an appointment today.

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