02 Nov Do Genetics Play a Role in the Overall Health of Teeth?
While our teeth are a natural gift that we nurture throughout our lives, their health can be influenced by a number of factors. What we eat and drink, our dental hygiene program, and the amount of times we visit the dentist for a dental check-up can all have a bearing on the long-term health of our teeth.
The health of our teeth can also have an effect on our general health; conditions like gum disease can spread to other parts of our body. As such, the basic principles of avoiding consumption of too many sugary drinks and snacks, brushing regularly with a good toothpaste and flossing to remove food debris can all play a part in maintaining healthy teeth, and by extension, a health body.
However, our genetic makeup can also play a part in the health of our teeth, as well as on our overall health. Genetics can influence such factors as the alignment of our teeth, their strength and placement, and their susceptibility to cavities. [pullquote]Genetics play a major role in the ongoing health of your teeth, despite your best efforts, and so it is important to inform your dentist of any hereditary traits that might be a factor in your dental health.[/pullquote]
Cavities are typically caused by tooth decay. Plaque acids erode the tooth enamel, weakening its structure to allow decay to set into the tooth. Over time, the decay eats further into the tooth, creating a cavity. A dentist can treat cavities by removing the decay from the problem area and administering a dental filling.
Genetics also help determine the composite strength of a person’s tooth enamel, and the composition or availability of a person’s saliva – the mouth’s natural defence against plaque acid. Saliva helps to keep a person’s mouth free of food debris and plaque acids by rinsing and neutralizing the bacteria within the mouth.
Genetics may naturally not produce sufficient saliva to keep a person’s mouth clean enough to prevent the effects of bacteria and plaque acid, and so a dentist may recommend the use of pharmaceutical aids, such as special mouthwashes, to compensate.
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, can also be influenced by genetics. Studies have recorded that many diseases are hereditary in nature; if a family is prone to developing specific diseases, there is a natural tendency for the disease to manifest in future generations. Healing too, can be influenced by genetics.
Dental problems can occur even though you are taking the best possible care of your teeth. Genetics play a major role in the ongoing health of your teeth, despite your best efforts, and so it is important to inform your dentist of any hereditary traits that might be a factor in your dental health.
Contact the office of Dr. Philip Kozlow, serving Addison TX and surrounding areas, for additional information and to schedule your next dental visit.