You inherit a lot of traits from your parents and grandparents, from your hair and eye color, to your height and facial features. In some ways, you might also inherit traits that can affect the long-term state of your dental health. While good hygiene and regular dental care are almost entirely under your control, some inherited traits can increase your risks of certain dental health issues. Hopefully, however, the most important aspect of your dental health is something your parents taught you as a child, rather than something they passed on to your genes.
Nature vs. Nurture
Tooth decay and gum disease aren’t exactly genetic issues. They can affect nearly anyone who doesn’t take proper care of their teeth and gums, regardless of any genetic predispositions. However, it is possible to inherit an increased risk of such issues, such as;
- Weaker-than-usual tooth enamel, which offers less protection for your teeth against cavities.
- A weak immune system, which makes it harder to fight off oral diseases and infections
- Saliva strength, which can dictate how well your mouth rinses itself of harmful oral bacteria.
- A stronger preference for sweets, which increases your risk of tooth decay and cavities.
- And more.
To help mitigate these risks (if you exhibit any), it is important to maintain a steady schedule of good hygiene practices, including brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice (or more) every day. Visiting your dentist as often as recommended for routine dental checkups and cleanings will allow us to monitor your dental health to make sure no issues arise, or are taken care of before they progress. If an issue develops, like a cavity, and we catch it early enough at your dental checkup, then we may be able to reverse the condition before any significant damage occurs.