What Role Does Genetics Play In Oral Health?

Like any element of health, genetics plays a role in our dental health. It is important to understand the genetic link to your oral health for a few reasons. First and foremost, if you are ever aware of a potential increased risk to your own health, you can mitigate it by seeking preventative care options as well as screenings. Additionally, another benefit to understanding that genetic link is that it helps contextualize differences in your health when compared to others. A common misunderstanding of health is putting too much weight on either personal responsibility or genetics. A strong understanding of the relationship between factors you control and factors you can’t control is the best way to approach health. In this article, we will discuss more about genetics’ role in oral health. If you need a dentist in the Lisbon, Maine area, give us a call.

How Do Genetics Influence Tooth Decay & Gum Disease

There are many ways genetics can impact your oral health. For example, teeth can be affected in terms of their overall strength and resistance to decay as well as their unique shapes. Naturally formed indents in a tooth can make it easier for bacteria to grow and form cavities. Plus, some people’s teeth are less resistant to decay. In fact, this is why adding fluoride to water and having fluoride treatments at your dental office is so important. Regardless of your genetics, fluoride can profoundly impact your teeth’s ability to fight off decay. Gum disease can also be genetic. There are many different types of gum disease, and gum disease can often be linked to other health issues including cardiovascular issues. Some people who have a family history of gum disease or other oral issues are at a higher risk. 

Is Tooth Loss Genetic?

One of the most common misconceptions is that if your parents or relatives lost their adult teeth at an earlier age, that means there is nothing you can do about it. While genetics plays a role in our health, it doesn’t automatically mean things are unavoidable. While there are genetic links between different oral issues like crooked/crowded teeth or tooth loss, that just means there is an opportunity to seek preventative care. If you are aware that your parents or your family has a history of dental issues, you should be empowered to trying to address those by practicing strong oral habits and never skipping the dentist. The idea that a dental issue is going to happen because it happened to other family members, is simply not true. Before modern dentistry, tooth loss, infected teeth, and gum disease were much more prevalent. But through regular oral care and preventative treatments, we can help our teeth and gums fight decay and infection. 

Personal Responsibility vs Genetics in Oral Care

One of the important elements of understanding genetics and their role in oral care is understanding that some people might have a higher risk of cavities, decay, etc. In school, you might have had that friend that brags about never having a cavity even though they might not be brushing and flossing as often as you do. This is common. A misconception that can really warp your relationship to health, is thinking that solutions are one-size-fits-all. This is something that is often formed in childhood, where an oversimplified view is placed on personal responsibility. It can be frustrating to brush and floss consistently and go to the dentist and find out you have a cavity. But it is important to understand that cavities aren’t punishments because of your oral health care, they are naturally forming decay that can happen to anyone. Some people might brush and floss less and not get a cavity, while others might take better care of their teeth and still get one. The important thing is that cavities and other dental issues are resolved early. 

Dental Care In Lisbon Maine

If you are looking for a great place for your family to get dental treatments, give us a call. We provide amazing dental services as well as a judgement free dental experience. 

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