Familial habits influence a lot of things, so there is always a chance you've inherited certain tendencies. When it comes to dental issues, some of these have been shown to run in families. Read on to find out more about a few so that you can be ready to fight against them.

Mouth Cancers

While lifestyle factors can influence your chances of acquiring this disease, there is some evidence that oral cancer runs in families. Smoking and alcohol use are prime offenders for diseases like this, as well as many others. One of the worst things about this type of cancer, however, is that it is difficult to detect. If you didn't know you were at risk, you might never mention it to your dentist. The signs of oral cancer are easy to miss and include tiny red spots inside your mouth. As with many types of cancers and dental issues, having regular check-ups pays off and could even save your life.

Your Teeth Shapes and Spacing

You might have been told that you have your mom's smile, but it's often true in more ways than one. The way your teeth look, down to the size of your canines, can be inherited from a parent. It all begins with the shape and size of your jaw – that determines how crowded or well-spaced your bite is. Chances are high that if your father or mother has an overbite, so do you. Unfortunately, misaligned teeth are not just a cosmetic issues. When teeth don't play well with each other, serious dental diseases can result.

Cleft Palate or Cleft Lip

A cleft palate is the result of a birth defect and it often runs in families. When the baby's mouth is formed, an opening is left in either the roof of the mouth or in the lip area. This anomaly is typically corrected by surgery while the child is still young.


Some people are more prone to get cavities and some of that tendency can be related to your ancestors. If you brush often and see your dentist as regularly as the next person but you still get cavities, it might be the beta-defensin 1 (DEFB1) gene. If you think you are more cavity-prone than others, take action. Talk to your dentist about sealants, rinses, and prescription toothpaste to address this issue head-on.

Speak to your dentist about teeth care to learn more.