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Do you know someone that has good genes?  Perhaps an uncle that is 60, but doesn’t look a day over 40?  Or maybe you have a friend who can eat whatever they want and never gain a pound.  

Thanks to the DNA you inherit from mom and dad your appearance, preferences, tastes and behaviors are all predetermined.  This also includes the state of your health. Just as diseases such as diabetes or cancer run in many families, bad teeth may also be passed down from generation to generation.  There are several ways in which genetics may impact your mouth:

Alignment – Poor teeth alignment  may be due to genetics as may crooked, spacious or misaligned teeth.

Tooth enamel – The density or softness of your teeth is inherited.  Those who have harder enamel are less likely to develop cavities as bacteria can more easily breakdown teeth with soft enamel bacteria..  

Food preferences – Mom may have always said to be mindful of your sweet tooth and while you may have doubted her, she was actually right.  Some people “inherit” a sweet tooth from their mom and dad, but unfortunately, indulging in candies, cakes and soda can lead to cavities!

Saliva – Believe it or not, your spit plays a large role in your oral health.  Saliva helps remove food between teeth and breakdown carbohydrates. It also provides much-needed nutrients for teeth and the efficiency or your saliva is based on genetics.

Even if you are a cavity-prone individual, that doesn’t mean you can completely blame your oral health on your parents.  Even those with the best genetic oral health must brush and floss their teeth twice a day as well as rinse, use fluoride and go for regular dental exams.  One of the largest cavity risk factors unrelated to hygiene is the consumption of sugary drinks. Avoid soda, sweet teas and coffee if you want to maintain a healthy smile.  To learn more about maintaining good oral health, or to have your mouth checked for cavities, contact Smiles Unlimited Dentistry, P.C.!