Do you find that you always seem to have some sort of dental issue that you’re dealing with? You might even feel like it doesn’t really have much to do with your oral hygiene routine. You may just have “bad teeth.” Genetics and family life do play a role when it comes to your oral health, but this doesn’t mean that you need to suffer with dental issues for the rest of your life. Read on to learn what you need to know about oral health and hereditary.
How to Your Genetics Contribute to Your Oral Health?
For many people, it is more likely that they will have issues related to their enamel or the development of their teeth due to genetic defects. Genetics also affect your ability to produce saliva, a key defense mechanism in your mouth, and your immune system and ability to fight off infections. For example, both of these issues can significantly increase your risk of developing periodontal disease in the future.
Other Family Related Factors that Can Contribute to Oral Health
Just because you have similar dental issues to your family members doesn’t necessarily mean that it completely has to do with genetics. Here are some other factors that can increase your probability of developing oral health issues:
- Family Meals: When you have meals with your family members and are all eating the same things, it’s no wonder that you have similar oral health. Some foods are more beneficial to your dental health than others, so meals that your family chooses is an important decision. Ultimately, your diet is one of the bigger risk factors when it comes to developing tooth decay and other dental problems.
- Bad Habits: It is possible to pick up bad habits from the people you are around a lot, even if you wouldn’t like to admit it. For example, if your parents never prioritized their oral hygiene, it is likely that you and your siblings haven’t either.
- Using Tobacco: If you come from a family where everyone smokes or dips, you are statistically more likely to take part yourself. The problem is that smoking doubles your risk of developing periodontal disease and increases your chances of developing oral cancer. Excessive drinking has negative effects as well.
Your genes do play a role in your oral health, but you are still in control! By maintaining excellent oral hygiene, avoiding bad habits, eating healthy, and seeing your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups, you can shape the future of your smile!
About the Author
Dr. Maura H. Sanders is an experienced dentist who has been working in the dental field for nearly 15 years. After graduating from Vanderbilt University in Nashville with a major in neuropsychology, she earned her dental doctorate from Case Western Reserve School of Dental Medicine in Cleveland, OH. For more information or to schedule an appointment at her office in Lebanon, NH, visit her website or call (603) 643-4362.