There are many culprits that contribute to the development of tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease, such as diet, brushing habits, smoking, dry mouth, and more. However, if you practice excellent oral hygiene, avoid harmful habits, drink plenty of water, eat a healthy diet, and still regularly get cavities, your genetics may play a significant role in how susceptible your teeth are to cavities!
DNA, Cavities & Gum Disease
A study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine discovered that select genetic variations may be responsible for an increased susceptibility to tooth decay. Researchers carefully examined thousands of mouths and DNA records, then came to the conclusion that variations in a gene called beta defensin 1 impacts the rate at which a person may develop cavities. Certain genes can also contribute to the development of periodontitis, which is irritation and inflammation of the gums that can lead to infection, tooth loss, and bone loss if left untreated. Some people are genetically predisposed to have thinner gums, making them more susceptible to irritation and recession. Fortunately, gum disease can be treated and reversed if diagnosed early.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree when it comes to the alignment, or misalignment, of your teeth. Genetics determines the size of your jaw and teeth, which then can result in crowding, gaps, and bite issues. However, don’t let worries of your parents’ issues with their teeth alignment cause you to despair. Modern orthodontics can treat just about any alignment issue! In fact, braces and clear aligner therapy are more comfortable and effective than ever before.
Take Charge of Your Own Oral Health!
Although there are some aspects of your oral health that are determined by your genes, your own habits are vastly more important. In fact, maintaining a superb preventive care routine, avoiding tobacco, and eating a healthy diet can usually limit and even completely prevent many common dental issues. So be sure to brush your teeth twice every day for two minutes each time, floss each day, and visit our expert team regularly for cleanings and exams.