Family in a park during fall all smiling together in jonesboro

Are “Bad Teeth” Genetic: Genes & Dental Health

August 28, 2023 9:00 am

Your genetics determine things like your hair and eye color, but they also impact your health. Conditions like high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, and more all have genetic components. Your dental health is genetic too! But, are “bad teeth” genetic?

What Role Do Genes Play in Dental Health?

It turns out phrases like, “She has her mother’s smile” don’t just refer to appearance! Your family history can increase your risk for issues like tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer. How? Certain genetic markers are linked to different aspects of your teeth.

    Enamel: Thin enamel makes you more likely to get cavities, while thick enamel provides better protection. Some individuals also have stronger or weaker enamel.

    Saliva: Saliva is very important at rinsing away food debris and bacteria. Sometimes, your genes may predispose you to dry mouth.

    Immune System: Your immune system determines how you respond to bacteria. If you have a weaker immune system, you may be more prone to cavities or gum disease. For example, patients with diabetes are more likely to get cavities or gum disease.

Sometimes, individuals mention that a tendency for “bad teeth” runs in their family. However, sometimes, it’s ineffective brushing habits and a lack of regular dental visits that are passed down through generations.

Do Genetics Always Determine Your Dental Health?

You’re not doomed to get cavities, gum disease, oral cancer, or other dental problems because of your family history. Your genetics may increase your risk of certain things, but they don’t guarantee anything. The opposite is true, too! You’re not destined to have great dental health just because your family history is free of major issues. You still need good oral hygiene habits.

What Should You Do if Your Family Has Poor Dental Health?

If your family has a history of cavities, gum disease, or oral cancer, you should make sure you’re taking great care of your teeth! That includes brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist at least every six months. You can also reduce your risk by not smoking or drinking excessively. If you are at higher risk of cavities, fluoride treatments and dental sealants can help prevent cavities. Tell Dr. Cook or Dr. Kingston about your family history, too, so we can be on the lookout for early symptoms.

Keep Your Dental Health in Great Shape by Visiting Jonesboro Dental Care in Jonesboro, AR

Genetics plays a role in your dental health, but so do your lifestyle and oral hygiene habits! Our practice is proud to offer preventative, restorative, and cosmetic services. If you have questions or want to book an appointment, please contact us today!

Contact Us

Categorised in: