Eye color, hair color, body shape, and stature size – genetics can impact so much. Did you know that your genetics can even impact your oral health? It’s true! You’ve inherited your ability to fight off infection and maintain clean teeth from your parents, grandparents, and other ancestors.
We’re here to discuss how your genetics can influence your oral health, and what you can do to overcome a genetic propensity toward poor oral hygiene.
Genetics and Oral Health
You’ve inherited your immune system and important characteristics like tooth enamel and saliva development from your parents. Here’s what you need to know about how your genetics influence your oral hygiene:
Immune system. A strong immune system can help you fight off infections in your mouth, but if you’ve inherited a weak immune system, then you may be more likely to have problems like gum disease and infections in the teeth.
Teeth and enamel development. Do your relatives have strong, healthy tooth enamel? If they don’t, then you may not either. Weak tooth enamel may make you more vulnerable to problems like cavities and infection.
Saliva production. Saliva production is genetic! How much saliva your mouth produces can make a big impact on your ability to fight off infection in the mouth. Saliva rinses your mouth and helps clear your mouth of bacteria. If you don’t produce enough saliva, then you may be more likely to suffer from oral hygiene problems.
Practical Ways to Overcome Genetics
Just because your family members struggle with oral hygiene problems doesn’t mean that you can’t overcome your genetics and maintain healthy teeth. Here’s what you can do to have healthy teeth and gums:
Schedule regular dental appointments. Visit your dentist every six months for regular dental cleanings. Your dental professional team will eliminate plaque and tartar from your teeth, assess the health of your teeth, and identify problems in their early stages. This prevents dental problems – such as gum disease, excess bacteria in the mouth, and chips or cracks in the enamel – from escalating into much larger problems.
Practice good oral hygiene habits. Brush your teeth twice daily and floss once each day. Pay attention to the way your teeth feel. If you notice problems like swelling and pain in your teeth, contact the dentist as soon as possible.
Change your diet. Diet impacts oral hygiene in ways that you may not be aware of. Keep your sugar intake low. Eat foods rich in calcium to reinforce your tooth enamel, and crunchy vegetables that naturally clean your teeth as you chew.
Visit the Dentist at Weninger Dentistry
Just because your parents or other relatives struggle with poor oral hygiene doesn’t mean that you also have to face these same struggles. Visit the dentist on a regular basis. The professionals at Weninger Dentistry can help you maintain healthy teeth and gums. Call today to make an appointment for a dental cleaning.