If your parents had bad teeth, does this mean that you are going to be plagued with dental problems as well? Possibly. There are some roles that genetics play in dental health, and you may have inherited some of the same inclinations. Here are some of the most common questions:
Can I Inherit the Tendency to Get Cavities?
Cavities are caused by the bacteria in your mouth that feeds on sugars. These bacteria produce an acid that erodes your tooth enamel. And that is what actually causes cavities.
Genetics can determine the thickness and strength of your tooth enamel, and the amount of bacteria-fighting saliva you produce. To help stave off cavities, ask your dentist about dental sealants that can help protect the enamel. Overall, the best way to avoid cavities is to eat a healthy diet, avoid sugary foods and drink, cut down on carbs, and brush, floss and visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings.
Is Gum Disease Inherited?
Gum disease is another oral health problem most often caused by the same reasons you get cavities. Left unchecked, bacteria can infect the gum tissue surrounding the teeth, causing inflamed and sensitive gums. If untreated, gum disease, or periodontitis can develop.
If you have gum disease in your family, let your dentist know. Finding and treating the symptoms early can make a big difference.
Will My Children’s Teeth Be Crooked Like Mine?
Crooked teeth often occur because of overcrowding conditions within the mouth. This can lead to over- or underbites, gaps, and misaligned teeth. And the size and shape of the mouth can be inherited. The chances are that if you needed braces, so will your children. Luckily, with today’s Invisalign technology, many dental problems can be easily fixed without metal braces.
Learn More About Your Family’s Dental History at Advanced Family Dentistry
If you have questions about your dental health, or whether you’ve inherited certain tendencies toward dental problems, the dentists at Advanced Family Dentistry will be glad to explore your history and answer any questions you might have.
We’ll also be able to offer options for protecting your teeth so you can keep your natural teeth for a lifetime. As a specialist in dental care, Dr. Sonny Kim has a variety of treatment options available.
We’d like to be your family dentist for life. If you live in Northern Virginia and the DC Metro area, contact us to set an appointment.
Dr. Sonny Kim is a Diplomat of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI), the highest education level for general dentists in this field.
Advanced Family Dentistry
Dr. Sonny Kim, DMD
11876 Sunrise Valley Dr., Suite 101
Reston, VA 20191