Which Dental Diseases May Be Hereditary?
Just as certain medical conditions can be hereditary, so can certain dental diseases. Each of us
has a unique genetic makeup, and our genes in combination with our environment play a huge
role in what constitutes our everyday health.
When it comes to oral diseases, there are a few conditions that can negatively affect your
dental health that research has suggested are hereditary. It’s possible that you could have
inherited the following oral health conditions.
If one of your parents has a history of gum disease, you’re more likely to have the disease as
well. Even if you take good care of your teeth, your genetic makeup may predispose you to
developing periodontal disease .
Visiting your dentist for regular checkups combined with proper oral care habits at home can
help you prevent gum disease and maintain your smile. Gum disease is progressive, so ignoring
the condition isn’t an option without consequences.
Although oral cancer hasn’t been proven to be passed down from parent to child, it’s possible
that with a family history of oral cancer that you contain genes that make you more likely to get
It’s important to tell your dentist if you have a known family history of cancer, especially oral
cancer. Fortunately, by getting oral cancer screenings with your professional dentist—which are
painless and can be life-saving—you can catch oral cancer early.
Other risk factors of oral cancer include tobacco use, alcohol abuse, and having an unhealthy
Some people are more likely to have tooth enamel that contains defects which can be the
result of genetics, according to research . Although the development of tooth enamel is
affected by both genes and environment, it may help to know that if your parents have weak
tooth enamel that you might as well.
With softer tooth enamel, you’re more likely to suffer from cavities. When tooth enamel is
missing on parts of your teeth, the softer tissues of your tooth are exposed to bacteria that can
lead to tooth decay.
When tooth enamel is beginning to wear away, you may notice a whiter spot on your teeth or
eventually a yellowish hue where the enamel has actually worn away to expose dentin, the
layer underneath enamel.
Are you worried that you may have inherited a health condition that affects your smile? You
may be predisposed to certain oral health problems, but that doesn’t mean that you need to let
your smile succumb to bacteria and decay.
It’s possible to have a healthy smile even with a history of oral disease. Visit your local dentist to learn more about how regular checkups and professional teeth cleanings can help you have the healthiest smile possible!