Every story has two sides, and that includes your family history. If your parents, siblings, or other relatives have been impacted by cavities, premature tooth loss, gum disease, or an overbite, there is a great chance that you, too, will be affected by many of the same dental problems.
There is also a flipside to the scenario: Perhaps your grandmother kept all of her natural teeth throughout her lifetime, and your father has never had a single cavity. There is no guarantee that you will never have to face the consequences of a dental disease.
Fortunately, the story doesn’t have to end there. Your destiny is not written by your family’s previous dental experiences. Rather than letting the chips fall where they may, your dentist can help to make sure that you enjoy a healthy and bright future regardless of the path upon which you began.
Tooth decay and gum disease are two infections that are influenced by the presence of a particular bacteria. It is true that some families tend to display higher concentrations of a particular bacterium. This partially explains why some families seem to be plagued by cavities and others by gum disease or tooth loss.
If either of these conditions has been noted within your family, your dentist might suggest more frequent dental cleanings, additional fluoride treatments, or specialized periodontal therapy as a preventive measure. It will also be important that these patients are more diligent about brushing, flossing, and eating or drinking habits in order to control their oral health.
Small jaws, crowded teeth, congenitally missing teeth, and other orthodontic conditions can run along family lines as well. Patients who are able to trace a family history of orthodontic problems may benefit from a proactive or more aggressive treatment approach such as braces at an early age or orthognathic surgery.
For more about how your family history can influence, but not dictate, your dental health, call 512-200-7422 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Paul Lounsberry today.