Dental Genetics and Gum Disease

Can Certain Genes Cause Gum Disease

Genetic Dental Abnormalities

Dental abnormalities can be caused by a range of different factors including genetics. There are many different types of genetic dental abnormalities that you should know about. These abnormalities can be caused by complex genetic disorders or from a spontaneous genetic mutation. Let me start by saying the first defense is simply caring for your teeth.

Cleft Palate And Lip

One of the most common genetic dental abnormalities is the cleft palate and lip. The cleft is caused when the lip or palate fusion was incomplete and could be part of a hereditary syndrome. If you have a family history of cleft palates the chances of inheriting this abnormality will increase.

A cleft lip is seen more often among the Asian community and can appear with or without a cleft palate. Boys will have a cleft lip more often than girls and it will usually appear on one side only. The most common side for this to appear is the left. A typical patient who has a cleft palate will have a defect in the roof of the palate along with an opening into the nasal cavity.

Supernumerary Teeth

Another genetic dental abnormality is supernumerary teeth which is extra permanent teeth. These extra teeth may or may not erupt through the gums. Many of the teeth will be abnormally shaped and can appear anywhere in the mouth. The most common supernumerary teeth will be small with a conical crown and a short root. These teeth will generally be located between the maxillary central incisors. It is also common to have extra teeth in the upper molar area.

There are believed to be a number of factors which contribute to extra teeth. However, heredity is believed to be one of the primary causes as this is more common in relatives of affected children than in the general population. It is rare for multiple extra teeth to be present when there is no other associated disease.

Anodontia And Hypodontia

Anodontia is a hereditary condition which is also known as congenitally missing teeth. This will result in one or more of the permanent teeth not developing, but primary or baby teeth will have erupted. This condition could involve the total absence of teeth or the absence of some teeth only.

Hypodontia is different as it is when the bone development of the jaws are altered. This will generally result in problems with spacing between the teeth. This condition is more common in men and will vary among the population.

Malocclusion

Malocclusion which is also known as a bad bite is caused by a number of factors. This could be due to crowding in the mouth from extra teeth, missing teeth or a jaw which is out of alignment. Most people with malocclusions will inherit this genetic abnormality. It can also lead to TMJ or temporomandibular jaw disorder which causes problems with speaking and chewing. The treatment of this abnormality will be to restore normal function to the mouth and to eliminate any pain which the person is suffering from.

Gingival Fibromatosis

Another hereditary dental condition that you need to be aware of is gingival fibromatosis. This is a condition where the gum tissue is overgrown. The characteristics of this condition are enlarged gum tissue which is often associated with the overproduction of collagen.

There are many different genetic dental abnormalities that you should know about. Some of these abnormalities are more serious than others and will require treatment to remedy them. If you suspect that you have a dental problem caused by a genetic abnormality, you should speak to your dentist as soon as possible and undergo an examination. The dentist will generally ask for a medical history as well as a family dental history.

 

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