Your mom/dad/sister/grandmother lost their teeth at an early age due to decay. You are not that old, but you have had a few cavities yourself. Your concerns about hereditary links to tooth decay may have you worried that you, too, will lose your teeth at an early age. Here is a closer look at what you should know about genetic factors and tooth decay.
Your genes can play a role in some oral health problems.
Some oral health concerns can be hereditary. For example, something like gum disease or a misaligned bite are both related to genetic factors. If your parents had gum disease, for instance, it may mean that you are also at a higher risk. Oral cancer can also have genetic links as well. Therefore, if one of your parents had oral cancer, it is best to be screened a bit earlier than the average patient.
Cavities and decay are not typically relative to genetics.
Scientifically speaking, cavities and decay are not considered to be genetic issues by most dentists. However, there is some debate here among the scientific community. Some studies have stated that some people have teeth that are automatically more prone to cavities, but the information has not been completely conclusive. If your parents’ teeth decayed and had to be pulled at an early age, this does not mean you are automatically at risk for the same fate. Usually, there are other factors at play that cause decay, which is explained next.
Poor oral hygiene habits can be family-learned.
Even though cavities and tooth decay or not technically a genetic problem, members of the same family often have similar issues with decay. Most often, the thing to blame here is the fact that oral health habits are learned early on by children who watch their parents. If Mom, Dad, or other caregivers are not brushing and flossing as they should, kids may follow suit. Likewise, members of the same family may have similar diets; if Mom is always baking cookies and offering sugary sweets, just about everyone in the house will take part. Of course, poor dietary choices can lead to dental health concerns.
Let Us Help You Determine Your Risks
The most important thing you can do for your oral health is to get dental checkups regularly. If you want to know more about your risks, reach out to us at First Dental Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Sugarland, TX for an appointment.