Teeth Genetics

Are Bad Teeth Genetic?

Your parents may have played a role in your hair color or skin tone, but can you thank them or blame them for the health of your teeth? Yes and no. While genetics do play a role in some dental conditions, most times how we care for our mouth is a much bigger factor than genetics. We take a closer role at how some dental conditions can be brought on by unlucky genes, and how to best care for your mouth no matter what type of family dental history you have.

Dental Conditions Caused By Genetics

Here’s a look at a few dental conditions that can have hereditary causes:

  1. Gum Disease – Roughly 30 percent of the population may be genetically predisposed to gum disease. If you know that periodontal gum disease runs in your family, bring it up to your dentist.
  2. Tooth Decay – According to dental experts, certain variations of the gene beta-defensin 1 (DEFB1) have been linked to a greater risk of developing cavities in your adult teeth. Again, it’s helpful to bring this to the attention of your dentist.
  3. Oral Cancer – If you have a family history of oral cancer, you may be at an increased risk for developing cancer as well. That being said, tobacco use is a much bigger risk factor for eventual cancer onset than family history.
  4. The Need For Braces – Finally, your need for braces may be caused by your ancestors. Genetics play a role in the size of your jaw, which in turn can lead to things like tooth crowding, overbites and underbites.

Protecting Your Teeth Is Key

No matter whether your family has never had a cavity or if they all had braces growing up, it is very important to practice good oral hygiene, have a healthy diet and avoid activities like smoking or excessive alcohol use that can contribute to oral issues. We’ve found that one thing that families can ensure they pass down to one another is a good dental hygiene routine. This means having your kids regularly brush their teeth at an early age, flossing daily and avoiding excessive amounts of sugary drinks that can contribute to tooth decay.

If you start your child with a good dental hygiene program early in life, they will be more likely to continue to care for their teeth on their own. Also, be sure to talk to them about the dangers of smoking and chewing tobacco, as these can stain teeth, contribute to gum disease and even lead to the onset of cancer.

You may not have won the genetic lottery, but when it comes to your teeth, that really doesn’t matter, because a good oral hygiene plan is much more important than your genetics. Be sure to care for your teeth every day and pass on good oral health habits to your kids so your family can have great teeth for generations to come! For more information about genetics and your teeth, reach out to Dr. Brooks today.

Preventive Dental Care

The Importance of Preventive Dental Care

As the old saying goes – “the best offense is a good defense.” That’s saying holds true for many things, including dental health. Preventive dental care can help improve your overall health, and help you avoid serious dental issues. In this article, we are going to discuss the importance of preventive dental care and offer some tips to implement in your own life.

Why Preventive Dental Care is Important

Although many don’t realize it, your dental health is very much intertwined with your overall bodily health. Medical issues that arise in your mouth can impact other areas of the body, and vice versa. Rather than avoiding the dentist until you have a toothache or another issue, the best strategy is to be proactive about your dental health.

Preventive Dental Care Tips

Regular dental cleanings and exams are perhaps the best way to avoid dental health issues. Cleanings help remove plaque and tartar, which can prevent cavities, periodontal disease, oral cancer, and other complications. But preventive dental care involves more than just making sure you keep your dental appointments. Here are some preventive dental care tips you can implement in your own life:

  • Visit your dentist twice a year for check-ups and cleanings.
  • Brush your teeth twice a day.
  • Floss daily.
  • Don’t over-indulge in sugary drinks and foods.

Farmington Dentists

Preventive dental care is essential to a person’s overall health. If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, or need to set up one of your regular appointments, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Smiles for Life. Dr. Tim Brooks and the rest of our team treats each patient individually, providing compassionate care to patients throughout the state of Minnesota. Contact our Minnesota dentists today to schedule an appointment at one of our clinics (located in Bloomington, MN).