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Can You Inherit “Bad Teeth”?

Like many things related to your body, the type of teeth you have can be genetic. That is to say, if you’re lucky, both of your parents will have strong teeth and healthy gums that they passed down to you. Unfortunately, if either of your parents is prone to oral health issues, you might be genetically predisposed to endure those issues, too.

Here are a few common ways people inherit bad teeth:

1. Periodontal (Gum) Disease

Gum disease occurs when bacteria has found its way between the gums and teeth, sticking around long enough to create colonies that eventually turn into plaque and tartar. Severe periodontitis can lead to tooth loss, which ultimately will require dental implants or other restorative measures to correct the issue. Some people are naturally more susceptible to periodontitis than others.

2. Tooth Decay

Do you feel like you have a cavity every time you go to the dentist for a cleaning, despite the fact that you brush, floss, and use mouthwash twice as much as the average person? It’s possible that you might have a variant of the gene beta-defensin 1, which has been linked to causing cavities in more people than those who don’t carry this genetic variant.

3. Misaligned Teeth

Some parents know to prepare for the cost of braces as soon as they find out they’re pregnant because misaligned teeth are known to run in families. This is largely because genetics determine the size of a person’s jaw, which means if a familial line is known to have narrower jaws that don’t have space for teeth to grow in straight naturally, the teeth will push through in any way they can, often resulting in crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, and gaps.

4. Oral Cancer

Like many other types of cancer, people who have a family history of oral cancer may be at a greater risk of developing the disease.

It’s important to see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings at least every six months. If you know you might be predisposed to oral health issues because your parents have unhealthy teeth or gums, share this information with your dentist so she can be on the lookout for early warning signs of similar issues.

At Centre Dentaire, we help make bad teeth good again. Whether you’re looking for dental implants in Lasalle or you simply need a cleaning, Dre Nathalie Kadoch and her team are here to help. Book your first appointment with us today!