When Genetics Is To Blame
No matter how well teeth are cared for, some people have genetic predispositions that put them at increased risk for some oral health problems. That doesn’t mean you should give up on brushing and flossing if tooth decay or gum disease runs in your family. Knowing that other family members have these dental problems will help you and your dentist be on alert for warning signs.
Do cavities seem to run in your family? Researchers found that the gene beta-defensin 1 is linked to an increased risk of cavities. To protect your teeth and prevent tooth decay, your dentist can apply sealants and fluoride treatments as extra precautions. Your dentist might also recommend certain toothpastes or mouth rinses.
Is gum disease also common among your family members? It’s been found that 30% of the population has a genetic disposition to this common problem. Gum disease is caused by bacteria buildup on the teeth that is left untreated. In severe cases, gum disease can cause tooth and bone loss.
Knowing that other family members have gum disease will help you and your dentist monitor for signs of plaque and tartar buildup, which cause the disease. Again, proper dental hygiene is your best defense against it.
Looking through photo albums, you can probably see similarities in you and your family members’ teeth. That’s because genetics play a major role in the size of your jaw. If your grandparents and parents had issues with crowding, gaps or overbites, chances are good that you will too.
Knowing ahead of time that your child will most likely need braces to correct their teeth and bite will encourage early orthodontic intervention, which can decrease the length of time they wear braces.
At Country Club Dental, we help patients in the Cameron Park, CA area achieve a healthy smile. While it’s good to know the oral health history of your family, you can still maintain your dental health with proper brushing and flossing and regular dental checkups.