We all know genetics take a big role in our health and looks, everything down to the way we smile. Dimples and double chins may come to mind, but did you know your oral health is also affected by genetics? Several studies claim up to 60% of tooth decay risk could be linked to genetic factors. Knowing your susceptibility to cavities could prove to be yet another motivating factor in taking the best care of your oral health.
Type of Saliva
Everyone’s bodies have different types of saliva that help begin the metabolizing process. Calcium, potassium, and other nutrients are needed to keep your teeth healthy and strong. Even if you’re eating the same healthy diet as the stranger next to you, you might not be getting the same amount of nutrients from your food. Specific genes in your saliva that help metabolize food have been linked to inheritance.
Also genetically linked is low mineral saliva which can affect your ability to fight off acid erosion on your enamel. Drinking soft drinks and strong acidic fruits can also cause tooth erosion, so if you’re not doing either of those and still have this issue consult your dentist on ways to protect your enamel from future damage.
How your teeth align may be one of the more obvious genetic traits. Sometimes a mouth is just too small for its beautiful teeth causing them to scrunch up and overlap. Others inherit a malformed jaw where the upper and lower are different sizes causing lisps, pain, or misaligned teeth. More often than not crooked teeth, overbites, and underbites are linked to the luck of genetics. Misaligned teeth may not only affect your smile, it can also lead to more cavities. Food can easily get stuck in cramped teeth making it hard to clean thoroughly.
Gum Disease Risk
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, almost half of Americans suffer from gum disease. Gum disease has been linked to other diseases including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. If you have a history of gum disease in your family or another chronic inflammatory disease, it’s important to maintain your oral health and visit a dentist every 6 months. Talk to your dentist about other preventative treatments.
What You Can Do
Before you start pointing fingers at your parents, there are ways to take care of your teeth to limit your inherited effects. Ultimately, your teeth are your teeth. As much as genetics play a role, there is a lot you can do to make your teeth look the way you want.
The first step is to avoid soft drinks and excess sugar. Eating well, brushing and flossing can help ward off some of your genetic influence. Getting to know your family’s dental history is good to have for your dentist and can prove to be greater motivation to take better care of your oral health. Keeping up with your 6-month dentist check-up will not only keep your teeth clean and protected with a fluoride treatment, it will give your dentist the chance to check for any signs of gum disease. There is not much you can do to avoid genetically misaligned teeth, but there are lots of options to choose from to straighten the teeth or fix jaw size differences. Many choose Invisalign as an alternative to bulky and noticeable braces.
Find a Dentist You Trust
If you want to maintain or improve your dental health and look, come to CNS Dental. At CNS Dental we believe in providing the best care for our patients. Going to the dentist should be comfortable, relaxing, and provide the results you are looking to achieve. Our staff treat each patient like family. Whether you are looking for a general dentist, cosmetic, or Invisalign services contact CNS Dental today!
Contact CNS Dental today at (703) 304-3881 to schedule your next appointment!