Are Dental Problems Hereditary?

You can maintain good oral health with proper at-home dental care and routine attention from your dentist. But factors beyond your control can also influence the look and feel of your smile. Genetics can play a major role in your likelihood of forming certain dental concerns.

If a member of your family suffers from issues in their teeth or gums, you might face the same threat to your smile. But how do you know if your family history will affect your oral health?

Your dentist will provide targeted preventative dental care based on your specific oral health needs. But you may also read on to find three dental problems that might form due to your genetics.

Are Dental Problems Hereditary

Inherited Dental Alignment Concerns

Many people aspire to have straight teeth, but a child’s permanent teeth can grow into place with gaps or a crooked appearance. This might occur due to poor oral habits in childhood, such as thumb sucking or lip biting. But the jaw shape and the dental alignment are also hereditary.

A narrow palate, crowded teeth, and bite problems might develop due to a family history rather than an outside influence. You may feel self-conscious about crooked teeth, but dental alignment issues could increase your risk of oral health problems like TMJ disorders.

A dentist can help you amend minor dental alignment concerns with Invisalign or other cosmetic dental treatments. More severe malocclusions may need an evaluation from an orthodontist.

Gum Disease Risk Factors

Gum disease is a common infection in the gum tissue that can cause major damage to the teeth, gums, and jawbone without prompt treatment from your dentist. It develops when natural oral bacteria reach the gum tissue and infect the area.

About half of adults in the United States will suffer from gum disease. Poor oral hygiene can allow bacteria to spread across the teeth and infect the gums. But some people may face a greater chance of contracting gum disease due to their genetics.

You might have inherited more aggressive oral bacteria, which can make you more likely to contract infections like gum disease. Your dentist can screen you for gum disease during a routine oral exam. Attend regular dental check-ups so that your dentist can help you prevent this disease and intervene quickly if needed thanks to early diagnoses.

Family History of Tooth Decay

Most of us will develop tooth decay at some point. This deterioration of your dental structure happens when oral bacteria penetrate a weak spot in your tooth enamel. It will eat away at your teeth, creating a hole in the tooth’s surface known as a cavity.

Your teeth might weaken if food particles, acidic substances, or plaque cling to your smile and erode the enamel. Then you could face a greater risk of cavities. But genetic factors can also put you in danger of tooth decay.

If you have hereditary aggressive oral bacteria, you could be more likely to form tooth decay. And you might have a family history of thinner or weaker tooth enamel fundamentally. Talk to your dentist to find preventive oral health care that can protect your smile from tooth decay and more.