Do Genetics Play a Role in the Overall Health of Teeth?

Do Genetics Play a Role in the Overall Health of Teeth?

Tulsa dentalThe most effective way to maintain your dental health is to practice good dental hygiene. This can prevent a number of problems such as decay and gum disease. However, some problems with your teeth could be due to genetics, or conditions inherited from your parents. These issues can require special treatment.

Genetic Dental Problems

Some problems with your teeth can be passed down from your parents. These types of problems can lead to eventual tooth loss, malocclusion, extensive wear and tear, and other long-term issues that require dental treatment.

Some dental problems that can be inherited include:

  • Extra or missing permanent teeth
  • Enlarged gum tissue
  • Defective tooth enamel
  • Cleft palate
  • Malformed teeth

In some cases, these problems do not require treatment, or are simply cosmetic issues. In other cases, however, your overall oral health can be greatly improved if the condition is treated. This is particularly true for conditions that cause abnormal wear and tear or that leave the teeth more vulnerable, such as malformed enamel. Cleft palate is usually treated at birth to prevent long-term complications that can be very serious.

Treatment for Genetic Dental Problems

The type of treatment required for these conditions depends upon the condition itself. Your dentist will be able to diagnose your condition and recommend treatment. Possible approaches for problems with your enamel as well as for malformed teeth include cosmetic crowns or dental veneers. If you have extra teeth, they can be extracted if necessary, and congenitally missing teeth can be replaced with dental implants.

Even if you feel your genetic dental issues are only cosmetic, they can still lead to serious long-term issues. Teeth that are malformed or teeth that are missing can cause eventual alignment issues that can have serious side effects. If you have malformed enamel, your teeth can be much more vulnerable to wear and tear and to tooth decay, leading to eventual tooth loss.

For more information or to schedule your next dental exam, contact the office of Dr. Mark E. Massaro today.