Can You Blame Your Parents for Bad Teeth?


Family Dentistry O Fallon, ILDo you feel like you need a cavity filled every time you visit the dentist? While we know that tooth decay is largely preventable with proper dental hygiene and routine dental visits, there is also evidence that suggests that genetics can play a role in one’s susceptibility to cavities. If you are diligent in your oral hygiene and still find yourself with frequent cavities, you may be able to blame your parents.

The following are genetic dental traits that can unfortunately increase your risk for tooth decay:

A “Sweet” Tooth

Taste preferences can be determined by your genes. This means that if you have a strong love for desserts and other sweet treats, you also have a genetic tendency to consume foods that are higher in sugar, which is the primary culprit for cavities! Genetics also influences your taste range, or how well you enjoy a variety of flavors. As far as your dental health goes, this could determine whether you include a more varied diet with smile-healthy fruits and vegetables. 

Immune Response

We all have communities of bacteria living in our mouths, which make up our microbiome. In addition, our bodies have a specific immune response to these bacterial communities. Our genetics influence our immune response and our immune response influences how well we fight cavity-causing bacteria within our smile!


Your spit plays a vital role in your oral health and digestive health. Saliva rinses away food and bacteria, neutralizes acids and even contains minerals that foster strong, healthy teeth. Your genes can make your saliva better (or worse) than others at breaking down and metabolizing.

Tooth Enamel

The enamel of your teeth is the strongest, outermost layer. It is your smile’s best defense against decay. Unfortunately, genetics can influence how soft your enamel is. The softer the enamel, the more prone you may be to cavities.

Defy Your Genes For A Healthy Smile

If think you inherited your “bad teeth,” don’t despair. In nearly all cases, there are ways you can prevent cavities and other dental problems. You may have to avoid sugary sodas more than someone else or see your dentist for more frequent cleanings. However, the extra steps it takes to defy your dental genes are well worth it. Call Soft Touch Dentistry to learn more!

Posted on behalf of Dr. Sarah Thompson, Soft Touch Dentistry
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Soft Touch Dentistry

1214 Paragon Dr
O’Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 622-5050