Can Dental Problems Be Hereditary?

What if we tell you that you may have inherited more than just your eye colour or those cute dimples or sense of humour? What about your dental problem? Is it acquired or congenital?

Yes, dental problems can run in the family just like your sleep habits or facial features. There are many oral conditions that have a hereditary base and are linked to your inherited defects and traits.

That said, listed below are some dental conditions that may result from genetic mutations or traits.

Malocclusion

If you wear braces, your family probably have a history of Malocclusion.

Malocclusion, also known as a bad bite, is a condition caused by extra, crowned or missing teeth or misalignment of jaws. Genetics play a major role in determining the crowding of your teeth, gaps, overbite, underbite and the size of your jaw thus causing Malocclusion.

Malocclusion is mostly inherited and can cause problems with the jaw or jaw joint, called temporomandibular jaw (TMJ) disorders, which can further result in chewing and speaking problems.

Periodontal Disease

An infection of the gums or the structures around the teeth initially caused by poor oral hygiene, periodontal disease is often hereditary.

Gum disease lead to sensitive and inflated gums while causing damage to the tissues and gums supporting the teeth. When left untreated, periodontal disease may lead to tooth loss. In addition, the condition is liked to a number of disease in other parts of the body including Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Cleft Lip & Cleft Palate

A common birth defect, cleft lip is a condition with a split in the roof of the lip and mouth with an opening into the nasal cavity. In simple terms, it is improper fusion of the lip and the palate.

Children who are born with a cleft most likely have parents who themselves have a cleft lip or palate. The condition is more common amongst Asians and Native Americans and is more often seen in males than females.

Oral Cancer

A life-threatening disease, oral cancer typically starts in the lip and inside of the mouth and can spread to other parts of the mouth, to the neck, head and the rest of the body when intreated.

Though lifestyles habits like alcohol and tobacco use (including cigarettes, cigars, pipes and snuff) are major factors to increase risk of oral cancer, people with a hereditary predisposition for cancer oral have greater risks of developing oral cancer owing to their inherited genes.

Conclusion

Though your misaligned teeth, cleft lip or inflamed gums may have to do with your parents history of dental issues, you can’t blame them for the care you provide your teeth. Inherited or acquired, dental issues can be treated and improved with proper treatment and care.

Adhere to good oral hygiene habits and pay regular visits to your dentist. Also, make sure you know a 24-hour dentist in your area just in case you face a dental emergency and need access to immediate care. Knowing an afterhours dentist will help you to minimise the damage when an emergency occurs and provide yourself with the care and treatment you need immediately.

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