Last Updated on May 29, 2023 by Dr Gustavo Assatourians DDS
When we talk about maintaining good oral health, we certainly mean putting into practice various oral hygiene habits to prevent certain diseases, but can dental problems be hereditary? The answer is yes.
The hereditary factor plays a very important role in the predisposition of a person to many dental problems. This means that there is a greater probability of suffering from an oral condition, regardless of oral health habits.
Common hereditary dental problems
It is the absence of one or more teeth, whether temporary or permanent, that never formed due to genetic problems.
Hyperdontia develops when there is a greater number of teeth than normal. These extra teeth are commonly known as supernumerary teeth.
It is an alteration in the size of the teeth that can be observed as excessively small.
4. Amelogenesis imperfecta
It is the abnormal development of dental enamel that gives the appearance of very small, weak, and brittle teeth. They are also very sensitive to heat and cold.
5. Imperfect dentinogenesis
It is a problem that affects the structure of the dentin of the teeth which turns them gray or yellow. In addition, dental pieces have a fragile and translucent appearance.
6. Cleft lip and palate
It is the craniofacial anomaly most related to hereditary antecedents. It involves the incomplete fusion of the lip with the palate.
7. Oral cancer
The main risk factors for oral cancer are tobacco and alcohol. However, genetics can also contribute to this deadly disease. Since people who carry a certain family history of cancer are more likely to develop it. To avoid serious complications, read this comprehensive guide about the importance of oral cancer screening.
8. Dental crowding and malocclusions
Genetics plays an important role in determining jaw size. A very small or very large jaw implies either a lack or excess of space, which can cause dental crowding, spaces, or gaps. These conditions in turn can cause a bad bite or incorrect dental occlusion.
9. Periodontal disease and caries
Although genetics is not a direct cause of both diseases, it is considered an important factor in their predisposition.
In the case of periodontal disease, the determining factor is the immune response to bacterial infection, which is determined genetically. An immune system that does not work properly aids in the progression from initial gum disease to severe periodontitis.
With dental caries, genetically acquired anomalies in the structure of the tooth and the composition of saliva will increase the possibility of suffering from them.
How does genetics affect dental health?
Genetics is linked to everything inherited in the body, including the oral system.
Genetic inheritance can determine the size and shape of the teeth or jaw, the quality of the dental structures, the number of teeth, and malocclusions. In addition, the composition of saliva can be inherited. It acts as a natural protector of our teeth and keeps them clean, but it can be impaired.
However, genetic inheritance does not always determine the appearance or development of a particular pathology. For example, conditions such as cavities and periodontitis are not inherited, but the oral conditions that generate a greater predisposition to suffer from them are.
Prevention of hereditary dental problems
1. Practice a healthy lifestyle
Leading a healthy lifestyle plays a crucial role in maintaining oral health. This includes not only a balanced and sugar-free diet, but also avoiding the consumption of tobacco, alcohol, and any substances that are harmful to health.
2. The importance of a dental examination
Early diagnosis and treatment of many of the aforementioned genetic dental problems contribute to the protection of gums and teeth and the prevention of possible future complications. For this reason, it is important to schedule regular visits to the dentist, especially in childhood, allowing for early diagnosis and preventive measures.
3. Inherit good habits
Children must emulate good health habits. It is essential to know the value of dental hygiene and that a visit to the dentist is necessary to avoid inconveniences and processes that can be much more complex, expensive, and even traumatic.
If you have any questions about hereditary dental problems or other topics, you can contact us at Channel Islands Family Dental as well as our page on Facebook. We look forward to your visit and we will make a timely diagnosis. Our dentists in Oxnard, Santa Paula, Ventura, Newbury Park, and Port Hueneme will be able to guide you toward the best treatment to take care of your health and give you back your best smile.
- Akshima S. (2023) Are Genes Involved in Tooth Decay and Gum Disease? Rev. News Medical Lifes Science. https://www.news-medical.net/health/Are-Genes-Involved-in-Tooth-Decay-and-Gum-Disease.aspx
- American Dental Association (2021) Genetics and Oral Health. https://www.ada.org/resources/research/science-and-research-institute/oral-health-topics/genetics-and-oral-health
- Georgie M. (2013) Genes and dental disorders. Clujul Med.https://www-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.translate.goog/pmc/articles/PMC4462493/?_x_tr_sl=en&_x_tr_tl=es&_x_tr_hl=es&_x_tr_pto=sc
- Robichaux M. (2022) Genetic Considerations of Diseases and Disorders that Affect the Oral Cavity. LSU Health New.Orleans.https://www.medschool.lsuhsc.edu/genetics/louisiana_genetics_and_hereditary_health_care_oral_