Are My Dental Problems Genetic?

Do you have chronic dental problems despite caring for your smile? You may have wondered if your concerns are genetic. Height, eye color, and hair color are not the only factors affected by genetics. Genetics can affect your likelihood of having crooked teeth, tooth discoloration, and even tooth decay or gum disease. Here, discover more about the link between oral health and genetics and how we treat dental problems in our Chapel Hill, NC, dental office.

Oral Health and Genetics in Chapel Hill, NC

Oral Health Problems Affected by Genetics in Chapel Hill

Genetics can have a say in the smile’s aesthetics and health. Discover more about the dental problems affected by genetics and how we treat these problems in our office.

Gum Disease

Periodontitis, or gum disease, occurs when harmful bacteria inflame and infect the gum tissue. As a result, the gums provide support for the tooth roots. Over time, as gum disease progresses, patients can experience gum recession, deep gum pockets, and even loose permanent teeth. Deep cleaning treatments and even oral surgery are options for patients with mild to severe gum disease.

Tooth Decay

Genetic variations can increase some patients’ risk of tooth decay and cavities. Harmful bacteria not only affect the gums but can also demineralize teeth, meaning they can wear the tooth enamel and create holes called cavities. Cavities are common but highly destructive dental problems because deep cavities can expose the dental pulp. The pulp consists of each tooth’s nerves, cells, and blood vessels. Once the pulp is infected, patients require a root canal to save their teeth.

Discolored Teeth

Patients who have more porous teeth are likely to experience tooth discoloration. Genetics can increase the likelihood of highly absorbent teeth, meaning that some patients may have teeth that appear yellow or discolored over time. When teeth are highly porous, stains can easily affect the enamel. Teeth can also wear, showing the darker layer beneath the tooth enamel called dentin.

If patients have stains due to tooth wear, they can cover their teeth with dental veneers. Dental veneers can cover all teeth in the smile line with a non-porous porcelain ceramic material. Tooth bonding can also cover smaller areas of wear or one to several discolored teeth. Bonding treatments use malleable, tooth-colored materials.

Crooked Teeth

Underbites, overbites, and other occlusal problems can be inherited. Sometimes the jaw’s shape can impact how teeth develop. Patients with misaligned teeth risk developing bite problems like TMD and decay. Additionally, patients can have difficulties cleaning between crooked teeth, meaning that bacteria and food debris can become trapped.

Address your dental problems, from the cosmetic to the infectious, in our office. Request a dental appointment with us online or call Chapel Hill Family and Cosmetic Dentistry at 919.736.6175.