As with other aspects of your health, genetics can certainly influence your oral health. Therefore, your dentist may inquire about your family history to help you better reduce your risks associated with these genetic factors.
Some patients may have a predisposition to thinner enamel thanks to their parents. This may make these patients more likely to develop cavities. If you have this hereditary history, your dentist may want to monitor you more closely for decay. There appears to be some genetic component to the risk of gum disease, as well.
The shape of your jaw can also be affected by your genes, and that, too, can affect the health of your teeth. For example, if you inherited a particularly narrow jaw from one of your parents, your teeth may be more susceptible to crowding, which can damage them and detract from your smile. Similarly, the size and the shape of the teeth are determined by your DNA to a certain extent, and those characteristics can also affect crowding.
Beyond heredity, your parents can influence your oral health in other ways.
Beyond heredity, your parents can influence your oral health in other ways. For example, they can model good oral hygiene habits or show that they are not as conscientious about brushing and flossing. When your parents help you establish a routine as a child, you are much more likely to continue brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist on a regular basis as an adult.
Additionally, parents may also expose younger children to cavity-causing bacteria through kisses or by sharing food from the same plate. Some evidence suggests similar genetic material in oral bacteria found in members of the same family. Those same bacteria can cause gum disease, as well.
Your genes can affect your oral health, so it’s important to be aware of any oral diseases that your parents and other close family members may have developed in their lifetimes. To learn more about the link between your DNA and your dental health, bring up this subject at your next appointment. Contact our office today to schedule your visit.