Here at Family Implant and Reconstructive Dentistry, we always tell our patients how important oral care is. After all, proper oral hygiene and visits to the dentist office are absolutely key to maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile. While a diligent oral routine will help keep your smile healthy, it’s also important to note that genetics can play a role in your dental health.
Your genes are responsible for more than just your eye color and facial features. Genetics can play a role in both the look of your smile and your susceptibility to certain dental issues. In fact, researchers have observed specific genetic characteristics that link to periodontitis, an aggressive form of gum disease. Being aware of your genetic predisposition for oral health concerns can help you keep an eye out for warning signs of tooth decay and gum disease. Treating these issues as soon as possible is imperative to avoid more severe dental problems like tooth loss in the future. Our dental implant patients know first-hand how tooth loss can have a significant impact on self-confidence and oral health. For this reason, we believe it’s important to educate yourself about the different ways genetics play a role in your dental health. To explain more on this subject, Dr. Richard Grubb explains the ways genetics impact oral health for patients here in Havre de Grace, MD.
Genetics will play an important role for several reasons. One of the key reasons genetics are important to your oral health is because they can leave you more susceptible to several dental conditions. It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to develop tooth decay, gum disease or any other issue. In the end, your habits will still play a pivotal role in the health of your smile.
If you’re concerned about how your genes will affect your oral health, take a look at your relatives. This can give you a better idea of certain conditions you can have a higher risk for developing. Oral health conditions affected by genetics include:
Gum Disease: If you are genetically predisposed to gum disease, you should pay special attention to oral care and flossing. It’s estimated that up to 30% of the population has a genetic predisposition for gum disease. In fact, a study from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine looked at the saliva samples from 389 people in 55 people. Researchers found genetic links connected to aggressive periodontitis. The study found that the FAM5C gene played a role, which has also been associated with inflammation and cardiovascular disease.
Tooth Decay: Your genes can also be an important factor when it comes to dental cavities. Researchers have found that the gene beta-defensin 1 is linked to a higher risk for cavities. The study that looked at this specific gene found that it impacts the immune response to germs. If you notice that tooth decay is prevalent in your family, you may want to discuss these concerns with your dental professional. Taking note of these potential problems will allow you to look for preventative treatments like fluoride treatments or sealants.
Crooked Teeth: Do you have crooked teeth? There’s a good chance that genetics are a key reason you may need orthodontic treatment. Since genes are important for determining the size of your jaw, they are also key factors to consider with the development of many dental imperfections including crowding, misaligned bites, and gaps. Misaligned teeth don’t just impact your self-confidence, but it is also known to increase your likelihood for tooth decay and gum disease. Treating these imperfections can improve the overall look of your smile and even make it easier for your to clean your teeth, which will end up also affecting your oral health.
We’d like to stress again the importance of patient’s behavior and dedication to a strict oral care routine. Of course, genetics will have an effect on your oral health, but it won’t solely determine if you have a healthy smile. If you for any reason have experienced tooth loss, don’t wait to pursue restorative treatment. We’ve been able to give our patients here in Havre de Grace a natural-looking, complete smile with the help of dental implants. To get started on your treatment, contact our office to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with Dr. Grubb today!
Richard V. Grubb
203 S. Washington St.
Havre de Grace, MD 21078
Monday: 8AM – 4PM
Tuesday: 9AM – 6PM
Wednesday: 8AM – 4PM
Thursday: 8AM – 4PM
Saturday: 8AM – 1PM (once a month)