How is genetics related to dentistry?

January 25, 2023

Did your dentist in Malton, ON ask you about your parent's dental health status?

Some factors that affect your oral health may be out of your control. Such is the case with genetics. It's linked to dental health, just as it is connected to physical traits.

If someone tells you that you have your mother's or father's smile, it may be true to a certain extent. Let's talk about how genetics is related to dentistry and what you can do about these aspects beyond your control.

  • Gum disease and family history. Genetics is a risk factor for gum disease. According to research, children whose parents have poor gum health tend to have poor gum health too. Family oral health history can affect periodontal health and may help predict disease likelihood or the need for preventative treatment. However, several other controllable aspects can impact the condition of your teeth and gums in the long run.
  • Misaligned teeth and genetics. Misaligned teeth and jaws can cause a variety of dental issues. How the mouth develops, including the position of the teeth and jaw, can be affected by genes. The development of the skeletal structure is partly under the influence of genetics. Although further studies are required to identify specific genes that lead to an irregularity, researchers are hopeful they can be corrected in the future.
  • Caries and genetics. Dental caries is a chronic infection caused by frequent exposure to sugary and starchy foods and poor oral health. It is the most prevalent disease worldwide, according to research. According to research, individual susceptibility to caries is influenced by several genes, including those linked to saliva function, immune response, and enamel development.
  • Oral cancer and genetics. A family history of head and neck cancer may increase your risk of developing oral cancer. However, not all cases of oral cancer are inherited. Lifestyle factors, such as smoking tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption, can also contribute to an increased risk.

Genetics and dentistry: Should I blame my parents for my dental health?

Genetics may influence the status of your oral health, but not everything about it is connected to genes. The choices you make and the actions you take have a bigger impact on the condition of your teeth and gums.

Good oral hygiene habits, a balanced diet, and a healthy lifestyle give you the best chance of maintaining healthy smiles. Even if your family history doesn't show any oral health-related problems, you may still encounter mouth issues if you set aside dental care.

If your parents have misaligned teeth or are prone to cavities, that also doesn't necessarily mean you'll run into the same dental problems. Routine dental visits, professional hygiene cleanings, and oral examinations will protect your oral health.

Genetics gives a glimpse into your medical profile, but it alone doesn't define your oral health.

To learn more about your dental health and the risk factors you must look out for, visit our office in Malton, Ontario. Request an appointment today with one of our friendly dentists.

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