The Role of Genetics on Your Oral Health
Whether it’s your total body health or the state of your pearly whites, genetics play a significant role. Regardless if the odds are for or against you, your habits and behavior can help or hurt optimal outcomes. Dental care habits and diet are closely linked to the health of your teeth and gums. Even if you think the cards are stacked against you because grandma has periodontitis and your great grandfather lost all his teeth before the age of 50, think again—you are more in control than you may think. Use this guide to take back control of your oral health.
Although you may practice healthy dental care habits and consume a teeth-friendly diet, you may still be at a greater risk due to your genetics:
- Low mineral content in your saliva increases your risk of cavities, as the minerals in saliva can battle the earliest stages of tooth decay.
- On the other hand, high mineral content in the saliva can contribute to an increased risk of gum disease due to the contribution to tartar buildup.
- Individuals with a “destructive inflammatory response” to bacteria and infection are at a greater risk of gum disease.
Healthy Oral Hygiene
Among the most influential factors for fighting gum disease and tooth decay are basic dental care habits. Dentists recommend brushing at least twice daily, flossing once daily, and routine visits to your dentist every six months. Food debris, bacteria, plaque and tartar all play a starring role in the development of poor dental health. Patients and dentists can work together to keep all contributing factors at bay. Don’t skip any of the important dental care steps to successfully fighting infection, inflammation, decay, and disease:
- Floss once daily to remove bacteria and debris from spaces between teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach
- Brush at least twice daily for a minimum of two minutes
- Rinse with mouthwash to further sweep away bacteria and debris, as well as fight bad breath
- Visit your family dentist at least once every six months for routine cleanings. Dentists can also catch any potential diseases or conditions in the early stages
A Teeth-Friendly Diet
It might sound like an oxymoron, since food is a contributor to plaque and tartar buildup, but there are certain foods that can actually aid in the reduction of bacteria that feed on the teeth and gums. And, avoiding certain foods can significantly reduce the likelihood of tooth decay and other damage to oral tissues. Follow these eating habits to keep your mouth healthy and happy:
- Avoid excessive consumption of sugary and starchy foods. Sugar molecules feed the bacteria of the mouth, leading to the development of acids, which can erode the tooth enamel.
- Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables that are loaded with antioxidants that can fight cavities and gum disease.
- Choose crunchy fruits and vegetables, like apples and celery, which increase saliva production to further wash away harmful bacteria.
- Drink lots of water, particularly tap water that is rich in the mineral, fluoride. Fluoride plays a significant role in remineralizing the teeth.
Regardless of the genetic factors, healthy dental care habits, a nutrient-rich diet, and routine visits to affordable dentists can help you achieve and maintain good oral health and a beautiful smile.
To learn about our family dentistry practice in Columbia, call Dental One Associates of Columbia today at (410) 346-2350 or make an appointment.
Dental One Associates offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Columbia. With 11 affiliated practices throughout Maryland, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Dental One Associates of Columbia, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Dental One Associates of Columbia.