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It’s In Your Genes: A Dentist in Sewell Explains How Genetics Are Tied to Oral Health

March 9, 2019

Filed under: News — dr_connolly @ 6:46 pm

A father and son flossing their teethBrushing and flossing have been and always will be part of your morning and nighttime rituals. The toothbrush is your best friend, and you’ve never met a floss you didn’t like, so why is it that when you visit your dentist for your six-month checkup, he’s got bad news? You’re following all the rules and taking the right steps, so why is your oral health not in tip-top shape? It may come as a surprise, but genetics may have something to do with the health of your teeth and gums. Read on to find out what your dentist in Sewell has to say about which common conditions can be connected to your genes.

Gum Disease

Just because members of your family may have gum disease doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do about it. If you’re prone to red, irritated gums that bleed when brushing and/or flossing, you’ll need to make sure you talk to your dentist immediately. If caught early enough, you can reverse gingivitis before it turns into periodontitis. And while you can’t do anything about your genetic makeup, you can take preventative measures at home such as:

  • Regular brushing and flossing (2 times a day for 2 minutes and flossing once a day)
  • Avoid smoking
  • Eat a balanced diet

Cavities

According to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, genetics may play a role in the development of tooth decay. Afflicting millions of Americans, the gene beta-defensin 1 (DEFB1) has many variations and can cause cavities. If you’re doing all the right things at home, be sure to talk to your dentist about prescription toothpaste to protect yourself from tooth decay. If you have children who are prone to cavities, discuss fluoride and dental sealant treatments.

Oral Cancer

No one wants to hear the word “cancer,” but most of us know that it is hereditary, which is why early screening is so important. Although the genetics behind developing oral cancer are minimal, there are things you can do to prevent the possibility of developing this horrible disease:

  • Stop smoking
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Make healthy food choices

Crooked Teeth

While your mom or dad may have never worn braces, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have. When it comes to the size of your jaw, genetics play a big role. Depending on its size, you can experience overlapping teeth, gaps, and problems with your bite. Nowadays, crooked teeth can be a thing of the past with multiple options such as traditional braces, porcelain veneers, or Invisalign. Talk to your dentist to see which treatment is right for you.

Although you have no control over your genes, you can control how you maintain your oral health. If you’re prone to one or several dental-related issues, talk to your dentist in Sewell to determine a treatment plan that’s right for you.

About the Practice
At Connolly Family Dentistry, our team of three full-time dentists and professional staff are dedicated to treating your family’s dental needs. Offering a wide array of services, you can expect to achieve a beautiful, healthy smile that greatly improves your confidence. We use various products, techniques, and technology to enhance your smile and overall health. To learn more about us, visit our website or call (856) 245-5898.

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