The Role Genetics Plays in Your Smile

April 17, 2019

A multigenerational family that shares genetics smiles while embracing on a couch

Our genes have a lot to do with our health. They can determine so many things, from our hair color and height, to our susceptibility to certain diseases, and to a certain extent, the health and appearance of our smile. In this blog post, we’ll explore how your genetics can affect your smile.

Smile Appearance

One aspect of your smile often impacted by genetics is its appearance. For example, you can inherit a certain color of teeth, crooked teeth, or a misaligned jaw. Fortunately, many discoloration issues can be corrected with professional teeth whitening. Additionally, malocclusion, crowding, overbites, and gaps can all be a product of genetics and are remedied only by professionally applied orthodontics.

Oral Cancer Risk

As with many cancers, your risk for oral cancer is often higher if someone in your family has had it. This does not mean that only people with a genetic link are at risk, though. There are a variety of other risk factors, such as diet, tobacco and alcohol use, and others.

Gum Disease & Tooth Decay

Preliminary research suggests that cavities and gingivitis may also be linked to your genes, with certain genes making you more susceptible to these oral issues. However, a bad luck of the draw in the genetics department doesn’t mean that you are doomed to suffer from these tooth-wreckers. Rather than lay the blame for decay and gum inflammation on bad genes and call it a day, be proactive. For those that may be predisposed to gum disease and cavities, it’s best to be diligent about your oral care. Brush and floss daily, limit your consumption of sugary foods and beverages, drink plenty of water, eat a balanced and nutritious diet, and come visit Heritage Dental every six months.

Top Quality Dental Care at Heritage Dental

Good genes or bad, we can all do better at caring for the health of our teeth and gums. Our friendly team is here to help you establish and maintain healthy oral care habits. If it’s been a while since your last checkup, contact us so we can examine your mouth for potential issues, like cavities, gum disease, and misalignment. We look forward to seeing you soon!