Many health issues run in families, including common dental concerns. If you have a genetic predisposition to cavities and gum disease, you must take extra steps to keep your smile healthy. While a dentist can help you manage your dental health, here’s what to know about the impact of genetics in this area. 

Which Oral Health Issues Have a Genetic Component?

Among many other gum disease risk factors, your family history can also influence the chance of developing this condition. Gum disease is characterized by redness, swelling, and bleeding while brushing, and can also cause tooth loss if not treated. Cavities are also thought to have a genetic component, but research shows that oral health habits play a greater role in predicting tooth decay. 

While less common than the above issues, oral cancer is much more serious. Like all cancers, your risk of developing this condition is influenced by lifestyle habits, such as drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes. However, certain genetic mutations are also cited as risk factors. 

What Can You Do to Keep Your Teeth and Gums Healthy?

dentistDespite any genetic predispositions you have to certain oral conditions, you can take steps to protect your dental health. Lower the risk of gum disease by flossing once daily. Brush twice a day to reduce the risk of cavities, regardless of your family history. 

Diet can also play a role in your oral health. If you have a predisposition to tooth decay, limit your consumption of sugar, including candy, sodas, and fruit juices. Replace these foods with those that promote dental health, such as raw vegetables, hard cheeses, water, and leafy greens, such as spinach and kale. 

When it comes to oral cancer, your best defense is identifying possible issues early. Undergoing regular oral cancer screenings from your dentist ensures the earliest possible diagnosis, which can have a profound impact on your prognosis. 


Visiting the dentist every six months for teeth cleanings, exams, and oral cancer screenings is also crucial to maintain optimum oral health. Bolivar Family Dental provides preventative care and advanced dental treatments to patients throughout Polk County, MO, and the surrounding counties. They also offer periodontal care to keep your gums healthy. Learn more about their services online, or call (417) 777-8654 to schedule an appointment today.