Grosse Pointe & Shelby Township


Dental Genetics: Can You Blame your Parents for Your Dental Problems?

family picnic dental geneticsAre you a dedicated brusher and flosser, but still have problems with tooth decay? Have you noticed that your crooked smile closely resembles the smile of one of your parents? In recent years, there has been a lot of research in the area of dental genetics. It’s been discovered that there are two major types of dental problems that are influenced by genetics: tooth decay and misalignment. Take a look at the information below to learn how genetics affect your dental problems!

Tooth Decay

According to the Center for Craniofacial and Dental Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, genetics account for approximately 60 percent of tooth decay risk. It turns out that genetics strongly influence the softness or hardness of your tooth enamel. The softer the tooth enamel is, the easier it is for bacteria to eat it away, ultimately causing decay.

Other factors of tooth decay that may be linked to genetics include a preference for sweets, sophistication of taste sensors, saliva strength, and the microbial ecology, or bacterial communities, of your mouth.

Teeth Alignment

Teeth spacing and alignment are other issues that can be influenced by genetics. Research shows that jaw size is highly correlated with genetics, and jaw size is a determining factor when it comes to teeth alignment. A jaw that is larger than necessary causes teeth to grow in with gaps. Diastema, a gap between the two front teeth, is a trait that is inherited. A jaw that’s too small to accommodate all of the teeth will cause crowding and overlapping. Some scientists theorize that throughout human evolution, our jaws have become smaller because we no longer need to chew tough, dense foods for survival. This theory helps to explain why crowded and crooked teeth are so common among young people today.

It’s Not All Dental Genetics…

This blog article isn’t a free pass to throw your dental hygiene out the window and rely on your genese to keep your teeth healthy and beautiful. Good dental habits are critical to keep your mouth and teeth healthy. Whether you have good or bad dental genetics, you should aim to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes and always floss.

Orthodontics in SE Michigan

We are proud of our commitment to our patients and our ability to produce beautiful, healthy smiles in a caring, patient-oriented environment. If you would like to learn more about your options, you can request a consultation online or give us a call at one of our two orthodontic locations in Michigan:

Grosse Pointe Farms: (313) 881-2480 | Shelby Township: (586) 803-8300

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Sources: CNN

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