Are Poor Quality Teeth Inherited?
How much control do we really have over the health of our teeth?
Many of us will be aware that some diseases can be hereditary. Whilst we can take certain preventative actions to limit our risks, if they are in our DNA we may well have to deal with the potential consequences at some point in our lives.
A few of our Ipswich patients have asked us whether their dental problems could also be hereditary. Research has indicated that some dental conditions such as tooth decay and even aggressive periodontitis may be genetic to some extent. This does not mean, however, that you will inevitably suffer from these problems, even if your ancestors did.
Inheriting the causes of problems
In fact, whilst you may have an increased risk of certain oral health issues due to your genetic makeup; perhaps a bigger threat is the oral health habits that you may have picked up from your parents, who may have also picked up theirs from their parents.
Whilst much of this advice would have been given with the best of intention and knowledge available at the time, we now have a much deeper understanding of the causes and prevention of dental problems. For example, many years ago, many people were told that they needed to give their teeth a ‘good hard brushing’. This seems logical, but, in fact, brushing too hard is likely to damage the enamel of the teeth, leading to the teeth being more exposed to bacteria and acids and therefore decay.
Diet too plays a role and if we were brought up on a high sugar diet, the chances are that we may continue this into our adult years, with the well known problems that we now know sugar can cause.
Keeping on top
In order to have healthy teeth, not only do you need to take good care of them at home, but we also strongly advise adult patients and their children to regularly visit our Ipswich dental hygienist. Not only will they clean your teeth professionally, removing hardened bacteria (tartar) from the teeth and gum line, but are also there to help you clean your teeth correctly. Guidance given by the hygienist may include anything from the correct brushing method to the introduction of dental floss into your routine. The fact that so few people floss their teeth is probably due to the fact that they find it difficult to do. Our hygienists can show you how to do this correctly and easily, thereby greatly improving your chances of avoiding periodontal problems.
Even where you do suffer from hereditary oral problems despite your best efforts, the team at the Foxhall Dental Practice are able to help you to restore your teeth to a functional state. Early intervention is key to the best outcome and we recommend regular six monthly dental check ups. Where specific circumstances are present, we may even suggest more frequent visits so that we can prevent problems from becoming too extensive.
To ensure that your teeth and gums are in the best health possible, you can arrange your dental check ups by calling our Ipswich dental practice on 01473 258396.