The Role of Genetics in Your Oral Health

adult granddaughter hugs and smiles at her grandmother.

Staying informed and ahead of potential dental problems is the best way to avoid dental emergencies. Reviewing your family history of illness is a great way to stay on top of your health with your physician, but did you know it’s also helpful information for your dentist?

Teeth & Gum Structure

The alignment and strength of your teeth and gums are the primary structures affected by your genetics. Enamel isn’t simply a one-size-fits-all product of our bodies. The degree of hardness, or enamel structure, is primarily determined by our genetics. Strong, healthy enamel is harder for bacteria to penetrate and therefore more cavity resistant.

Since genetics also plays a part in the alignment of your teeth, how easy it is to thoroughly clean your teeth is affected by genetics. Some people have extremely tight or largely spaced-out contacts that allow food to get more easily stuck. The harder it is to clean teeth, the more likely someone is to develop cavities and gum disease.

Genetic Syndromes & Cancers

If you or someone in your family has been diagnosed with oral cancer, then the risk factor for you to develop oral cancer is increased. It’s imperative to schedule regular check-ups to screen for oral cancers if you have a family history of oral cancer.

While oral cancer risk is often exacerbated by lifestyle habits like smoking and alcohol use, some genetic syndromes increase your risk factor for developing oral cancer.

Fanconi Anemia is a rare inherited disease characterized by physical abnormalities, bone marrow failure, throat and mouth cancers, and other medical complications usually at an early age. Dyskeratosis Congenita is another rare genetic disease that affects the bone marrow and increases the risk of certain cancers including those of the throat and mouth.

Preventative Dental Care in Fort Lauderdale, FL

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