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The Genetic Connection to Your Dental Health

Recent research has taken an in-depth look at the impact of genetics on your teeth. While you might have a smile like your grandmother and dimples like your dad, the state of those pearly whites is not as closely linked to your DNA. Scientists and dentists have labored over the prospect of diseased or malformed teeth being a result of genetics and, while the answers remain inconclusive, much of the evidence is resting with the defense—it’s your dental care habits that determine the state of your smile. Sure, some people might have big teeth or prominent gums, but in a majority of cases, the health of those teeth and gums lie solely with their owner—you.

“Bad teeth” means different things to different people. Some may define bad teeth as teeth that are too large or too small, while others might take issue with spacing. Dentists, however, define “bad” teeth as teeth in a poor state of health. Tooth decay, gum disease, discolorations, and sensitive teeth: avoiding these conditions comes down to proper dental care.

Genetic mutations can cause some people to born with missing or malformed teeth. This can occur due to factors such as errors in DNA or toxic environmental exposures. The formation of wisdom teeth is also hereditary. Discoloration or staining of the teeth and susceptibility to oral diseases are not significantly impacted by hereditary factors. It is primarily your personal lifestyle habits and environmental exposures that leave your susceptible to these outcomes. Smoking, use of drugs, diet and root canal procedures, can substantially contribute to bad teeth. Improper dental care habits, such as failure to brush and floss daily or visit your dentist on a routine basis, can produce terrible teeth over time.

Preventing “Bad Teeth”

Aside from the well-known habits of good dental care—brushing twice daily, flossing once daily, and visiting an affordable dentist twice a year—making some lifestyle and food changes can actually prevent your teeth from being affected by tooth decay and disease. Use these four tips for maintaining “good” teeth:

1. Eat “teeth-friendly” foods, rich in a variety of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals:

  • Fruits
  • Raw vegetables
  • Cheese
  • Tap water

2. Avoid junk foods and carbonated beverages.

3. Brush after eating. If you can’t brush, at the very least, rinse with water.

4. Don’t use tobacco or drugs. These promote tartar on the enamel of teeth, leading to stains.

Genetics may play a small role in bad teeth for some individuals, but science has largely determined, when it comes to the state of your teeth, fate is in your hands.

To learn about our family dentistry practice in Detroit, call Gentle Dental of Michigan today at or make an appointment.


Gentle Dental of Michigan offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Detroit. With 8 affiliated practices throughout Detroit, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of Michigan, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of Michigan.

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