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Are Smiles Hereditary?

added on: April 20, 2016

We’ve all heard the phrase, “He has his father’s smile!” And while that may be true when it comes to appearance, can it also mean children and parents can share the same likelihood for dental problems? At my Long Grove dental office, we’d like to give you a little insight as to what oral health complications can be transferred through genes and which are more likely caused by behaviors.


There’s absolutely a link between our DNA and some dental concerns including:

  • Overcrowded or crooked teeth. Teeth that are too close together or crooked makes it difficult to brush properly and remove all debris from between teeth. If a parent has either, it can be passed to a child.
  • Oral cancer. If your family has a genetic mutation or oncogenes, which is a type of gene that can take healthy cells and turn them into cancerous cells, you may be at increased risk.
  • Size and shape of the mouth. The way someone’s jaw is structured could have an effect on the way teeth line up when clenched together. If misaligned, TMJ pain can occur.

Since genetics can play a large role in these oral health issues, it’s important to know your family medical history. If your family has an increased chance of any of the above, we encourage you to share that information with your Long Grove dentist.


But not all oral health problems can be blamed on genetics. Overall dental health isn’t really something that’s directly passed from parent to child through DNA, but more so through behavior. More common concerns like gum disease and cavities are likely the result of an ineffective oral hygiene routine that may or may not have been adapted from a parent. If proper dental care isn’t started early and enforced, it’s more likely for a child to grow up and have larger amounts of decay. Make sure to get yourself, and your child, healthy by brushing for at least two minutes twice a day, and flossing once a day. It’s also crucial to maintain regular checkups and professional cleanings at least every six months.

What Else Can You Do?

If you’re unhappy with what nature gave you, there are ways to change your smile. Cosmetic dentistry can transform your smile from one you tend to hide, to one you’re proud to show off.

Think cosmetic dentistry may be right for you? Or perhaps it’s been awhile since you’ve had a dental cleaning? We’re here to help. Give my dental office in Long Grove a call to schedule an appointment today!

Welcoming patients from Long Grove, Buffalo Grove, Lake Zurich.

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