• Are Genetics Affecting Your Oral Health?

    on Dec 7th, 2018

Be it a double-chin like Aunt Sylvia, or those sparkling baby blues like your grandfather, genes play a role in your appearance. Genetics can also up your odds for certain chronic health conditions, such as high blood pressure, migraine headaches, or arthritis. No matter what you do, you can’t get away from your genetic makeup, but you can be aware of how it affects your health.

The same is true for your oral health. Just as there are certain inherited traits that make you who you are, your genes affect your teeth and gums. Oral and dental traits -- from the shape of your jawbone to your bite to your tendency to get cavities -- can be inherited. Knowing your family history plays a big part in staying on top of your oral health.

The gentle approach

For nearly three decades, our staff at Soft Touch Dentistry has provided comprehensive dental care for families and individuals in and around the Sacramento area. We combine our expert knowledge and experience with a compassionate attitude. We specialize in creating an anxiety-free, comfortable, and relaxed atmosphere, so our patients feel good about seeking treatment. To that end, we’d like to share the following information about oral health and genetics.

Genetics and your oral health

Your genes play a role in the alignment of your jaw, the size of your mouth, placement of your teeth, and even the color and strength of your enamel. Depending on which ones you inherit, some of these traits can put you at a greater risk for tooth decay.

For example, overcrowded teeth and a small jaw can make it difficult to brush thoroughly or floss between teeth, making it easier for cavities to form. Weak enamel can lead to cracks and fissures which, in turn, can lead to tooth decay.

Genetics may affect your gums, too

Beyond the size, shape, and strength of your teeth, your genetics can also make you more prone to gum (periodontal) disease. Studies show that no matter how well you care for your teeth, 30% of the population is predisposed to receding gums because of the genetic link. Receding gums are a sign of periodontal disease and can ultimately lead to tooth oss.

Receding gums, puffy or bleeding gums, and painful chewing are just some of the signs of periodontal disease. There are a couple types of periodontitis with genetic links:

 

 

Preventing and reversing gum disease is essential to your overall health, as well as your oral health. There is not yet a genetic test, per se, that can predetermine your oral health risks, but knowing what types of issues are prevalent in your family, combined with regular and thorough dental checkups, is the best way to know what may lie ahead.

 

Does gum disease or another oral health problem run in your family? If you live in or around Sacramento, California, contact our caring staff at Soft Touch Dentistry and schedule a visit today.

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