Dental Health & Genes

Dental Health & Genes

How the “make up” of our bodies can affect oral health.

When it comes to dental health, we all know a great dental health regime works wonders for keeping the teeth healthy and bright. But are there aspects of oral health that we don’t have control over? Is it possible that we are predisposed to certain conditions, issues or aesthetics when it comes to our oral health?

The ‘nature versus nurture’ argument still rages strong in the world of dentistry, with evidence, studies and opinions coming out almost annually to support the idea that genes have an impact on oral health. The opposing side to this argument suggests that the way you care for your teeth from being a child to adulthood is the determining factor, because even teeth that are predisposed to being ‘bad’ won’t necessarily become ‘bad’ if they are looked after properly. There is no conclusive evidence to give a ‘yes or no’ on this debate, but it is important to recognise that oral health can be affected by genetic factors, as well as the habits taught to us as a child.

So, How Much Do Genes Affect Oral Health?

Genes can have an impact on many aspects of your oral health and can predispose you to various issues including:

●      How resilient teeth and gums are

●      The shape, quality and size of gums and teeth, for example, people with a lot of gum in their smile often come from at least one parent with the same type of smile

●      Issues with the jaw

●      Overcrowding of the teeth

●      Gum disease

●      Enamel strength

●      Tooth grinding (bruxism)

Individuals may find they have similar oral health issues to the ones their parents have.

Habits Matter More

Clearly, your genes may well have some level of influence over the potential good or bad aspects of your oral health you may encounter through your childhood or adult life. Even if this is the case, in most scenarios habits matter more than predisposition to issues. The habits you form will have a huge impact on what happens to your teeth and gums. For example, smoking will have a massive impact on your overall health and cause many negative issues with your body. On the other hand, brushing twice a day with the right brushing technique, along with using the right toothpaste and toothbrush, will have a really positive affect on your teeth and help to keep them in good condition.

This ‘at home’ regime though, would then be negatively affected by a diet high in sugar. Or, if you had signs of gum disease and ignored them, rather than visiting your Egham dentist, then your dental health may decline rapidly.

So as you can see, it isn’t really any one thing that leads you to have great teeth, it is a combination of things that ensure you have the best possible chance of healthy teeth and gums. All of us should be:

●      Brushing twice a day for at least two minutes

●      Brushing with the right toothbrush and toothpaste

●      Avoiding high sugar and high acid foods

●      Avoiding excessive drinking

●      Avoiding smoking altogether

●      Avoiding too much food and drink that stain the teeth, like coffee and red wine

●      Visiting Crown House Dental in Egham at least every six months

●      Visiting the dentist if any dental issues arise between checkups

If you do have genes that lead you to have dental problems, let your dentist know so you can work with them to adjust your dental care accordingly. If you have genes that predispose you to aesthetic issues you aren’t happy with, like yellow teeth or a gummy smile, speak to your Egham dentist about cosmetic dentistry to help with those issues.

You should never feel out of control when it comes to your oral health. Whatever genetic predisposition you have to dental issues, you can work around them with an excellent personal health regime and visits to your Egham dentist.

Do you need to register with Crown House Dental in Egham? Please call us on 01784432641 and we will be more than happy to help.

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