Did Grandma lose her teeth before she hit 50? Does everyone in your family have a yellowed smile? There are many debates about genetics coming into play for the state of your teeth, though it’s not quite what you think.
Certain genetic diseases can leave you predisposed to cavity development and leave you more prone to periodontal disease, says Harvey Kessler, DDS, professor, and director of pathology at Texas A&M College of Dentistry. They can also influence the structure of your teeth as well as how many teeth your mouth will hold.
A quick look into your family tree might be the key to knowing what may lie ahead for you and how to counter it. Among the things to look out for are:
Enamel defects – When genetic defects are present, the enamel can be compromised. Amelogenesis imperfect and dentinogensis imperfecta are both disorders that can come from genetics.
Disorders in tooth development - Teeth develop during the embryo stage, and in this tender time, ectodermal dysplasia, a genetic disease, could affect anything made during this stage from the hair and nails to the teeth. It occurs very early in life and requires special dentures to replace missing teeth as well as keep an improved appearance.
Excessive tooth loss – It’s normal for people to lose teeth as they age, but tooth loss at a young age that isn’t related to the usual loss of baby teeth might mean the presence of a genetic disorder known as dentinal dysplasia.
Bone and tooth-related mineralization problems – Hypophosphatasia is a disorder that is inherited that can affect the development of your bones and teeth. It prevents mineralization from occurring which would ordinarily strengthen your teeth and bones. Without forming cementum to cover the roots of your teeth, it can’t anchor your teeth to your bones.
Genetic Oral Disorders
Genetic oral disorders are still very rare. Very few people out there will have these problems. What’s more common though is inherited microbes rather than the genes of your family tree. According to a study, sets of twins were studied for their oral health in their early years. It was found that some of them inherited oral microbes from their parents.
These microbes don’t cause cavities and their presence decreases with age. Most of them are healthy and are a natural part of the mouth to help breakdown food and protect your teeth and gums. But some of these can be harmful when they’re overly plentiful. Streptococcus mutants feed on the sugars in the food particles trapped in your teeth and gums. These aren’t a big problem if you take care of your oral hygiene. Porphyromonasgingivalis on the other hand is never in a healthy mouth. It develops when gum disease is present.
No matter what hand your genes have dealt you, always practice your best oral hygiene. Brush twice daily – including on your tongue – and be sure to floss every day too. Use a non-alcoholic mouth rinse to be sure to rid your mouth of any lingering food particles and kill off harmful bacteria.
You can also work with your genes by keeping up with a healthy diet, limiting your sugar intake, and making sure you have your dentist help you keep up your smile.
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Jennifer Raskin is a freelance writer, wife and mom that loves cold weather despite her location in Florida, cooking, reading, watching ‘80s movies, weight-lifting, and wine tasting.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.