Hair texture, eye color, and several other features can be genetic, but can the same be said for your smile? Research says that the answer may be yes. If you have a genetic predisposition to certain conditions that have resulted in “bad teeth” and you want to improve your pearly whites, read on to learn about the relationship between dental health and genes as well as what you can do to counteract it.
Oral Health Issues That May Be Genetic
Some genetic defects can, unfortunately, cause people to have a higher chance of having issues with the development of their teeth. Additionally, genetics can affect your ability to produce saliva. This can cause your mouth to become dry, which will likely lead to an overgrowth of harmful bacteria. Heredity can also affect your body’s ability to fight off infections, and this can raise your risk of developing gum disease. Other oral health issues may be linked to genetics, including:
- Overcrowded or crooked teeth, which are difficult to clean and may allow bacteria to flourish
- Weak teeth resulting from a lack of calcium or eating habits during tooth development
- Jawbone size, which can cause bite problems or joint pain
- Thin enamel causing tooth discoloration
- Cavities or tooth decay
- Oral cancer
How to Fight Back Against Genetics
Fortunately, there are things you can do to fight back against genetics and improve your chances of having a healthy smile. Brush your teeth twice per day for two minutes with a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid damaging your tooth enamel. Use fluoride toothpaste to strengthen your teeth and remove plaque buildups. Floss at least once a day, preferably before you go to bed. This will remove food that’s gotten caught between your teeth and get rid of roughly 40% of the plaque on your pearly whites. You should also consider using an ADA-approved mouthwash to kill germs in hard-to-reach places.
Eating a well-balanced diet can also help keep your teeth healthy. Cut back on your alcohol consumption and eat and drink less sweet and acidic foods and beverages, such as cookies, candy, and soda. If you smoke or use other tobacco products, try to stop as soon as possible as this can damage your teeth and put you at a higher risk for developing gum disease, oral cancer, and several other cancers.
Some oral health issues are hereditary, but there are still ways to lessen your chances of encountering complications. Visit your dentist for regular checkups, eat a healthy diet, cut back on bad habits, and practice good oral hygiene to keep your smile lovely and bright!
About the Author
Washington Dental Associates aims to help patients learn the best way to take care of their teeth so they can maintain healthy smiles. If you have a genetic predisposition to oral health issues, they can take preventive measures to stop problems in their tracks and help you enjoy your beautiful beam to the fullest. Call Washington Dental Associates at (201) 453-4863 or visit their website for more information on the link between genetics and oral health or to schedule an appointment.