How Your Family History Affects Your Teeth

How Your Family History Affects Your Teeth

Jan 09, 2019

One of the smartest things we can do when we begin to notice problems with our teeth is to take a look at our family history. Genetics play a role in this like our eye color or our hair color, but did you know that your family history can also affect your teeth and gums?

While not everything about your mouth and teeth can be caused by genetics, some things can be. Luckily, when you’re living in Virginia, there are several dentists in Huntington Beach, like Impression Dental Care, that can tell you all about your teeth history.

What Family History Can Affect in Your Mouth

Below you will see some of the most common ways your family history can affect your mouth, followed by a few preventive measures.


One thing that your genes can determine is your jaw shape and size. Because of this, the way your teeth are aligned can be affected by your genes. This can include things like overbites, gaps, crowded teeth, and underbites.

There isn’t too much you can do about these things. In fact, you can’t actually change the shape or size of your jaw. What you can do is get in contact with a dentist near you to see if they think something like braces or headgear would be a good fit to address any issues you may have.

Risk of Cavities

Something that can be caused by your genetics or your hygiene is cavities. The main gene that plays a role when it comes to you getting cavities is called the “DEFB1 gene”. It is a gene that is responsible for keeping your body healthy and acts as a line of defense against germs.

If you have a low amount of DEFB1, you’re more likely to experience tooth decay, which ultimately leads to cavities. Another thing that can affect whether or not you get cavities is the amount of saliva you produce. The less saliva you have, the fewer bacteria gets washed away.

Lastly, when it comes to cavities and genetics, if you have crowding of teeth or any misalignment, you may have a harder time cleaning your teeth, which can result in more cavities.

Gum Disease

Dentists in Huntington Beach, CA, will also tell you that gum disease can be caused by your genetics. There is a gene called “FAM5C”, and if you have a lot of it, you may be more prone to gum disease. Unfortunately, high levels of this gene can also negatively impact your cardiovascular health.

If you’re an individual with a compromised immune system, you may also struggle with gum disease, as your body may not have the necessary means to fight it off due to genetics and family history.

Increased Cancer Risk

Lastly, dentists in 92647 may be able to tell you in your family history can increase your chances of oral cancer. A lot of the time, cancer is related in some form to our genetics. There are genetic markers to be aware of that put person at more of a risk for oral cancer.

With that being said, it’s important to note that genetics isn’t the only thing that can play a part when it comes to oral cancer risk. If you choose to use tobacco, vape, or drink alcohol, you’re increasing your chances of cancer as well.

Taking care of your dental hygiene can help prevent things like oral cancer, gum disease, cavities, and more.

Dental Hygiene Tips

There are a few things that can help you have the healthiest mouth possible, even when you figure in genetics. Remember to brush your teeth at least twice a day. You can also brush your teeth every time you eat as well.

Along with brushing your teeth, flossing can have a bigger impact than you may realize on oral health. Make sure to floss at least once a day as well. Lastly, make sure you’re visiting your dentist every six months to get a proper cleaning and assessment of the health of your mouth.

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