genetics and your smile

Genetics and Your Smile: What’s the Correlation?

Genetics and your smile, is there a link? When you think about your smile, what comes to mind? How it looks? Brushing and flossing? Most people tend to focus on the classic dental advice when it comes to oral health. But, did you know that genetics and your smile actually have a lot in common. Genetics plays a role in both the health of your mouth and the condition of your smile. So, depending on the genes of your parents or grandparents, you may be more at risk to certain dental conditions. No matter how much you brush or floss, genetics can leave you with a higher risk of oral health issues.

Here are some links between genetics and your smile:

Gum Disease

No one wants to deal with the damage and embarrassment of periodontal disease. While most advanced gum disease issues are linked to bad oral hygiene, there is also a link between genetics and gum disease. A family history of diabetes can increase your risk of developing periodontal disease. So, even if you schedule regular dental cleanings and checkups, and brush and floss as you should, genetics can put a damper on achieving your optimal oral hygiene.

Although this may seem like a bummer there are ways to lessen your risk of periodontal disease. Knowing your family history can be a huge asset to your dentist when it comes to preventative care. The earlier the treatment and diagnosis, the easier it is to keep this issue from getting out of hand.

Tooth Decay

If you seem to struggle with cavities no matter how great you treat your teeth, chances are you are dealing with a genetic link. There is a gene called beta-defensin 1, also known as DEFB1. This gene has been linked to an increase in the risk of cavities in dental patients. Like with gum disease, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Sealants and other treatments have been discovered over the years to prevent you from being susceptible to cavities. Regular dental checkups and proper oral health care is important as well.

Crooked Teeth Link Genetics and Your Smile

If your dentist has referred you for orthodontic care, you likely are looking for ways to straighten your smile. Did you know that crooked teeth tend to run in the family? One of the major factors that plays into crowding of your teeth is the makeup of your jaw. People with small mouths can experience crowing of the teeth, while people with large mouths can experience gaps in the teeth. Gaps in the teeth can cause a shift that leads to the crooked teeth you often see being treated by orthodontics.

If you family has a history of orthodontic treatment, this is something you should watch for as well. These issues need to be dealt with to avoid serious dental issues such as tooth loss and gum disease.

They say you can’t blame your parents for everything. Bad news for Mom and Dad is that genetics and your smile do have a correlation. Talk to your oral health care provider about how you can prevent damages to your oral health from genetic-based issues in your mouth.