From the color of your hair to the shape of your eyes, many of our physical features were passed down from our family members. Genetics play a big part in how we look and who we grow up to be. With that being said, can oral health problems also run in the family? Are bad teeth genetic? Read on to learn if having dental issues can run in the family.
Oral Health Issues That May Be Genetic
Unfortunately, there are some genetic defects that can cause people to be at a higher risk of having problems with how their teeth develop. Certain genetic factors can also affect your ability to produce saliva, which can lead to dry mouth and may make you more likely to end up with oral health issues due to an overgrowth of bacteria. Other oral health or dental issues with links to genetics include:
- Weak teeth due to eating habits during tooth development or a lack of calcium
- Jawbone size, which can lead to joint pain or bite problems
- Tooth discoloration due to thin enamel
- Overcrowded or crooked teeth
- Gum disease
- Tooth decay
- Oral cancer
How Oral Hygiene Can Help
Fortunately, there are ways to fight back against your genetic predisposition to oral health issues. Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste once in the morning and once at night for two minutes each time. This will strengthen your teeth against cavities and remove plaque buildup. Floss each day after your last meal to remove plaque from between your pearly whites. You may also want to use a mouthwash approved by the American Dental Association (ADA) to kill germs and bacteria in hard-to-reach places.
How Eating a Balanced Diet Can Help
Eating a well-balanced diet of dentist-approved foods can also help keep your teeth healthy. Drinking alcohol in large quantities can dry out your mouth, so it’s important to practice moderation. If you consume a lot of cakes, cookies, soda, and other sweets, make sure to cut back to lower your chances of developing cavities. You should also increase your intake of foods and drinks that are good for your smile, including:
- Low-fat and fat-free dairy products like milk, plain yogurt, and cheese
- Fresh, crisp fruits and veggies like carrots, apples, and pears
- Lean meats like chicken, pork, beef, and turkey
- Fish like salmon
Though some oral health issues may run in the family, good oral hygiene and a healthy diet can help lessen your chances of complications. So, make sure to visit your dentist every six months, take good care of your teeth at home, and eat well to keep your smile looking its best!
About the Author
Maintaining a healthy smile can be difficult. If you need some extra assistance, the talented team at Sachse Family Dentistry at Woodbridge is here to help. They provide exceptional oral health services like dental checkups and cleanings to keep your teeth healthy. If you have a genetic predisposition to certain oral health issues, they can work with you to keep your smile looking and functioning at its best. Call Sachse Family Dentistry at Woodbridge at (972) 848-0073 or visit their website to schedule an appointment.