Can my genetics make me more prone to dental issues?

Genetics and oral health dna
Your genetics do play a role in certain oral health issues.

Do you have a perfect oral health regime, and yet are still plagued with cavities? Maybe you have been flossing and brushing on a consistent basis since you were a child, and regardless, you’ve lost count of the fillings you’ve needed over the years! Although lifestyle does play a major part in how quickly tooth decay takes it toll, the role of genetics makes up about 60 percent of your risk for cavities. You may have to work much harder to keep you teeth healthy if you identify with any of the following factors:

Saliva Production

Dry mouth is a main cause of tooth decay, as saliva controls the pH balance in your mouth and also helps to flush food particles out. The amount of saliva you produce is unique to you, and some inherited disorders hurt this production. If you are prone to dry mouth, you will find it harder to fight tooth decay regardless of your dental regime. Staying hydrated, avoiding dehydrating drinks and foods, and chewing sugar-free gum are simple ways to increase saliva levels in your mouth.


If your enamel is naturally softer, you will unfortunately be more prone to tooth decay. Nevertheless, enamel can easily be fortified or weakened through lifestyle choices such as diet, oral regime, and whether or not you smoke. Those gifted with naturally hard enamel should still take all of the necessary steps for protection, as bad habits will eventually take a toll, and those with softer enamel must take extra care to avoid damage.

Spacing of Teeth

Some people’s teeth are more crowded than others, making it difficult to clean efficiently. Plaque is able to build up much more quickly when rinsing, flossing, and brushing are all hindered by crowded teeth. This is an important reason why correcting misalignment is crucial beyond aesthetic reasons, with orthodontic treatment such as Invisalign. You can keep your mouth much more healthy if your teeth are straight, making them easier to maneuver around when cleaning.

Shape of Teeth

Bacteria loves to hide in the grooves on the surface of teeth, and some people are born with deeper grooves than others. If your teeth are shaped this way, you have most likely been aware of it for a long time. Food gets stuck in these crevices quickly, and debris can be difficult to dislodge.

Regardless of your genetic risk factors, nothing can replace consistent oral health habits. You can be born with everything needed for a perfect smile, but through your daily habits, cause severe damage to your teeth. On the other hand, you might have the cavity-cards stacked against you, but by taking the right steps, are able to avoid tooth decay altogether. No matter what set of teeth you have, nothing replaces taking an active role in your own oral health.