You may have been told that cavities or other dental issues run in your family, but is this scientifically possible? If you’re concerned about what oral problems may present in your lifetime that might be inherited, we want to help. Here are a few common dental problems that have been shown to be genetically handed down from generation to generation, and what to do if you suspect you have them.
It’s true that you can inherit a susceptibility to cavities from your parents. There is a specific gene that makes some more prone to tooth decay than others. That doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to stop cavities. It means that you must be extra diligent with your dental hygiene. If you know you may be cavity-prone, avoids sweets, brush and floss daily, and never put off a dental visit. You can do a lot to combat tooth decay by leading a healthy lifestyle.
Malocclusion & Misalignment
If you needed braces when you were younger, you may have inherited a trait for crooked and misaligned teeth. Luckily, we have modern orthodontia to make straight smiles accessible, which our ancestors did not! If you know misalignment runs in your family and you have children, it would be wise to have them meet with an orthodontist once their adult teeth come in.
If you have a family member who had oral cancer, you need to be diligent about your dental hygiene and be sure to not smoke or use tobacco products. Susceptibility to certain cancers can be handed down, so do stay on top of your health and if you notice any bumps or changes to your mouth, let us know.
Gum disease can lead to inflamed gums, infection, and even bone or tooth loss. It can be very serious. An estimated 30 percent of the population has inherited gum disease. If you know your parents had problems with gum disease, you need to be especially diligent about your oral hygiene.
Although it’s possible to inherit many health problems, we are in control of how well we prevent them. Be sure to communicate with us about your family’s dental history, and to always stay on top of your routine to keep teeth clean and strong. If it’s time for your next cleaning, contact us today.