Do Genetics Play a Role in the Overall Health of Teeth?

Have you ever wondered if genetics affect the health of your teeth and gums? While genetics is a relatively new field of study, scientists and medical researchers are learning more about how our DNA affects our overall wellbeing including our dental health.

Although we currently lack a total understanding of genetics, we do know that hereditary factors do influence oral health. For example, genetics seem to influence a patient’s risk for developing gum disease as well as the amount and placement of teeth. Another example of hereditary factors influencing oral health is the presence of wisdom teeth. Some patients have no wisdom teeth while others may have only two or three. Even though our genes can affect our health, patients can take charge of their wellbeing by committing to proper oral hygiene, visiting the best dentist in their area, and eating a diet low in sugar.

If certain conditions run in my family, should I tell my dentist?

Yes. You should discuss your family medical history as well as your own with our team – especially if your family has a history of periodontal (gum) disease, diabetes, or oral cancer. We also welcome you to discuss your current medication regimen (including over the counter drugs and supplements) with our staff. Some common medications such as anti-histamines or anti-depressants can cause dry mouth. Patients with dry mouth tend to have a higher risk for periodontal disease and tooth decay.

What can I do to preserve my oral health?

One of the most important things you can do to preserve your oral health is to adopt a proper oral hygiene regimen that includes twice-daily brushing and flossing. Brushing and flossing helps clean teeth and reduce the presence of harmful oral bacteria in the mouth. You should also receive at least two professional cleanings and examinations a year. Regular visits to our practice will allow us the opportunity to catch potential problems as soon as possible. Additionally, we encourage patients to eat diets low in sugar and acid to help prevent tooth decay and enamel damage.

We offer comprehensive general and restorative dentistry. Call North Shore Restorative & Implant Dentistry at 516-484-6394 today to reserve an appointment.