Depending on the condition, heredity may play a part in your oral health. Although a condition like gum disease isn’t necessarily passed down in families, poor dental habits are.
Are Oral Health Problems Genetic?
Heredity can play a role in certain oral health conditions. According to the ADA, there may be genetic factors that contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. Currently, there are no genetic tests available to prove this theory. In addition, health conditions present in other parts of the body can affect your oral health.
Is Tooth Decay Hereditary?
Bacteria that live in dental plaque will cause tooth decay, but there may be genetic factors that can contribute to its progression. It's important to keep in mind that lifestyle habits such as smoking, poor diet, and poor oral hygiene will play a significant role in the development of tooth decay.
Can You Inherit Gum Disease?
If you have relatives that have gum disease, then you may be more likely to develop the condition also. According to the ADA, your genetic makeup can make you more likely to develop the condition. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss and may be connected to cardiovascular disease. If an immediate family member has gum disease, mention it to your dentist.
Can You Inherit Crooked Teeth?
If your dentist recommends braces for your child, they may not be the only one in the family. Genetics play a role in determining jaw size. A smaller jaw can mean crowded teeth, gaps, or an overbite. If misaligned teeth are common in your family, mention this to your dentist.
Why Do My Composite Fillings Keep Falling Out?
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine and the University of Pernambuco School of Dentistry researched certain genetic factors that may cause composite fillings to fail in some patients.
Researchers analyzed the DNA of patients who lost composite fillings. The results showed that there might be an influence from the MMP-2 gene. This inherited gene controls the production of an enzyme. Researchers believe this particular enzyme produced by the MMP-2 gene, may degrade the bond between a tooth's surface and the filling material. The researchers found that a person with the MMP2 gene was more likely to have problems with composite fillings.
So, are oral health issues inherited? The answer is, sometimes – it depends on the condition. Even if a person is genetically predisposed to developing dental problems, there's a lot they can do to keep their teeth and mouth healthy. Good oral hygiene habits and regular visits with a dentist is the best way to prevent tooth decay, gum disease and oral health problems.