Your dentist probably badgers you about maintaining oral hygiene every time you visit them. The constant nagging about brushing regularly and flossing without fail may have annoyed you to follow it to the T.
But did you know that your oral hygiene is not the only thing affecting your dental health?
Like everything else in your body, genetics influences your mouth. Even people following rigorous dental routines are at the mercy of their genetic makeup. Thus, there are parts of your dental health that you have no control over.
Read on to know more about the impact of genetics on dental health.
How Can Genes Affect the Mouth?
Genes can affect your oral health in several ways:
- Determine the alignment of your teeth
- They determine the chemical composition of your saliva
- Can increase your risks of getting a cavity
- A history of gum diseases can increase your chances of getting one
If you have more crevices and grooves between your teeth, it is easier for acid to infiltrate those areas. The composition of your saliva also plays a role in how much it can neutralize the acids. That may lead to plaque formation and subsequent decay.
Studies have also revealed a connection between dental caries and genetic characteristics.
Knowing how genes affect dental health does not only help you. It also helps your children. You can plan a family dental care routine that counters all the issues your genes may cause.
The Science Behind It All
According to DNA analysis, 47 areas in the human genome are linked to dental caries. Examples of how they affect your dental health are:
- One gene has variants that may affect tooth quality and numbers
- A different gene has variants affecting the quality of saliva
- A few genes also determine the development of enamel and how strong your teeth are from the beginning
- Some genetic processes that contribute to dental caries also affect cardiovascular and metabolic health
Your genes also influence your body’s immune system. Hence, people with weaker immune systems tend to be at higher risk of mouth ulcers and oral infections.
If something is in your genes, there is not much you can do to change it. Your best shot is to take all the precautions possible. So, some preventive measures you can follow are:
Making Healthy Diet Choices
Since your dental health is heavily dependent on your immune system, eating a well-balanced diet can make a huge difference. The foods and drinks you consume can boost your immunity.
Try increasing your intake of vitamins, proteins, iron, and calcium.
You should also avoid eating sweet or starchy foods. They stick to the enamel of your teeth easily and cause plaque formation. Drinking water instead of sugary sodas will also help your health.
Visiting the dentist should not be a task you put off until some major issue occurs. Regular check-ups are necessary for your dental health. Working closely with a dentist could do wonders.
You will be able to know if:
- Any problems are developing that can get early attention
- You need a change in toothbrush or toothpaste
- Your dental health requires other special products for it to stay healthy
Be sure to visit the dentist at least once every six months. A thorough check-up of your mouth will ensure that your mouth stays in its best state.
Following a Good Oral Hygiene Routine
You can personalize your oral routine to prevent its effects when you know your family’s history of dental diseases. Besides the regular brushing and flossing, you can also include:
- Necessary mouthwashes
- The correct brush type that suits your teeth and gums
- A toothpaste that is beneficial for your teeth
Your genetics may significantly impact your dental health, but it does not have to define you. Taking proper precautions can nullify its effects and help you lead a healthy life.
It is recommended that you understand the medical history of your family. That way, you will know what diseases you are at higher risk of. Hence, you can take the necessary steps to avoid them.
Additionally, let your dentist know about the family history so they can prescribe treatment accordingly.
Experts say that dental caries link up with genetics and other characteristics like smoking, drinking, obesity, and more, showing how they are similar to general diseases.