Learning to Manage Your Dental Problems

Learning to Manage Your Dental Problems

3 Dental Problems With A Genetic Basis

by Charlotte Beck

The majority of dental issues faced by most people--things such as gingivitis, cavities, and other forms of tooth decay--have their basis in poor hygiene. Yet other problems stem not from habitual but from genetic issues. If you would like to improve your understanding of such problems, read on. This article will introduce you to three dental problems whose origin has a large hereditary component.

Supernumerary Teeth

Supernumerary teeth is the fancy name for an easily understood phenomenon: the presence of additional teeth in the mouth. Whereas the mouths of most healthy adults contain thirty-two teeth, some people develop yet more teeth. These supernumerary teeth can be located in a variety of different places but are most commonly found between or behind the incisors. Teeth located in such places are known as mesiodens.

Mesiodens are also distinguished by certain abnormalities in their shape. Not only do they tend to be of a smaller size than normal teeth, but they are usually conical at their tips. In some cases, the presence of such teeth may be relatively benign. Yet in the majority of cases, they tend to cause spacing issues for the other teeth. For that reason, they are commonly extracted.

Doctors and dentists still do not fully understand what causes mesiodens and other supernumerary teeth to form, although it is clear that there is a strong genetic component. In other words, the children of individuals with supernumerary teeth are likely to develop them as well.


Hypodontia lies on the far end of the spectrum from supernumerary teeth. In other words, here the issue is not that there are too many teeth but that there are too few. While the baby teeth generally come in naturally, those with hypodontia fail to develop the proper number of permanent teeth. In especially severe cases, none of the permanent teeth will come in. This is referred to as anodontia.

Hypodontia has been shown to have a genetic basis, with female offspring more likely to develop this problem than male offspring. When severe enough, hypodontia can cause the muscles and bones of the jaw to develop improperly. In order to prevent this from happening, hypodontia is often treated through the use of such things as implants, bridges, and dentures.

Canker Sores

Though much less serious than either of the two conditions discussed above, canker sores do represent an annoying--and often painful--problem. Moreover, it is known that there is a hereditary predisposition for canker sores. This is often linked to the genetic transmission of more serious diseases such as Chrohn's disease, Celiac sprue, and ulcerative colitis. Canker sores are often a by-product of these diseases. 


About Me

Learning to Manage Your Dental Problems

As a homeschool parent and independent contractor, I don't always have time to practice good dental care. I often find myself in a rush just to meet my daily tasks and goals. My lack of good dental care eventually caught up with me. After experiencing severe pain in my back tooth, I made an appointment with my dentist. My dentist found a large hole in the center of the tooth. Root canal treatment couldn't save the tooth, so my dentist extracted it. I learned a very painful and valuable lesson that day. No matter how hectic my life is, I should still make time to brush and floss my teeth properly. I'm here to help you and other people avoid painful dental problems with my blog. I offer tips on how to keep your teeth clean and how to spot dental problems before they get out of control. Good luck.