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Are Bad Teeth Hereditary?

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Are Bad Teeth Hereditary?

bad teeth

If your parents had poor dental health, then you will most likely have problems too. While it’s true that genetics is connected to some oral health issues, it isn’t always the case. Genes control how teeth develop, and sometimes teeth may not form properly, making enamel less resistant to bacteria.

Almost every aspect of your oral health is affected to a degree by your genes; the size and shape of your mouth, and bone structure is inherited. Crooked teeth are usually passed down from generation to generation, but the bad oral care habits of previous generations do not cause you to have bad teeth. Good oral hygiene will help your teeth to be the best they can be, no matter what kind of teeth you inherit.

When You Can Blame Your Parents

Overcrowded teeth or crooked teeth are often genetic. The size of your jawbone can also lead to problems with your bite or may even cause painful issues with your jaw joints. Even when this is the case, there is still plenty we can do to help you overcome those genetic factors.

Several oral health conditions have a basis due to heredity that puts you at higher risk for developing certain conditions, in spite of your habits, such as crooked teeth which provides a safe harbor for bacteria because they are difficult to clean. What are your risks? Find out if your relatives have a history of any of the following conditions.

Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease)

Up to 30% of the population may be genetically predisposed to gum disease. Characterized by sensitive and inflamed gums, this common problem is linked to decay and, when left untreated, can result in tooth and bone loss. Early diagnosis and treatment can go a long way in protecting your gums and teeth. If gum disease is a problem your family members have struggled with, make sure to mention it to your dentist.

Tooth Decay

Got cavities? Your ancestors may be to blame. Certain variations of genes are linked to a greater risk of cavities in permanent teeth. If your pre-teens or teens are at high risk for cavities, talk to Dr. Shane S. Porter, of Premier Dentistry of Eagle about sealants. Adults with a high risk of tooth decay may benefit from prescription toothpastes or mouth rinses and make sure to visit Dr. Porter for frequent cleanings and exams. Exams at least every six months, give Dr. Porter a chance to provide advice on caring for your teeth and allows him to detect oral health problems early, when they’re most treatable. If left untreated, tooth decay can aggravate gum disease and eventually cause tooth loss.

Weak Teeth

Eating habits during development of the teeth can affect the health of teeth. Not having enough calcium in the diet during tooth development may cause the teeth to be weaker and predisposed to cavities. Having fluoride in the diet during tooth development has also been shown to strengthen teeth and resist cavities.

Oral Cancer

This deadly disease is responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans every year. Although lifestyle choices, such as tobacco and alcohol are the top risk factors for oral cancer, although genetics can also play a minor role. People carrying certain genetic markers have been found to have a higher risk of developing the disease. You can lower your risk by quitting tobacco, cutting back on alcohol and eating a healthy, balanced diet.

Misaligned (Crooked) Teeth

If you need braces, you’re probably not the only one in your family. Genetics play a major role in determining the size of your jaw. This, in turn, can cause crowding, gaps, overbites and underbites. If crooked teeth are a common problem in your family, consult with Dr. Porter. Early treatment can benefit many young patients, allowing developing bones and teeth to grow in properly and prevent more serious problems down the road.

Tooth Color

Tooth color is determined by a combination of your genes and environment. People whose teeth develop naturally with thinner enamel generally have teeth that appear more yellow, although this can also be a consequence of losing enamel as you age.

When Other Problems Are the Reason for Bad Teeth

So-called bad teeth are almost always a result of bad habits. Dental problems such as gum disease and tooth decay are almost entirely preventable and are largely due to oral hygiene factors, not your genes. Even if one has “bad teeth”, there is a lot you can do to help them be as healthy as possible; a good oral hygiene regimen can prevent cavities and gum disease.

See Dr. Porter for Regular Checkups

If you see Dr. Porter every six months and have excellent preventative oral care, you can significantly reduce the risk of the genetic factors that cause “bad teeth”. You can blame a lot on your parents, but one thing everyone has to do is take ownership for our oral health.

  • Make sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time, using ADA approved fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Floss once a day, preferably at night just before bed.
  • Rinse with mouthwash to kill germs that brushing and flossing may have missed.
  • Avoid bad habits such as consuming too many sweets, candy, cookies, drinking soda and acidic juice.

Even the healthiest patients need regular dental checkups. There may be underlying problems that you can’t see on your own. A visit to Dr. Porter can help you keep your mouth healthy and avoid problems.

Premier Dentistry of Eagle is located at 467 South Rivershore Lane in Eagle, Idaho and is easily accessible to patients in the surrounding communities of Star, Nampa, Middleton, Meridian, Garden City, and Boise. Call today for an appointment at (208) 546-0655 or contact us online.

Let us give you a reason to smile while you learn to take good care of your teeth that are good, bad or otherwise.

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