Are Cavities and Bad Teeth Hereditary?

One of the most common questions we get here at River Run Dental is “are cavities and bad teeth hereditary?” The truth is that while genetic may play a role, your dental hygiene habits are more important. Here’s a look at some of the genetic factors that may be correlated to higher rates of cavities.


The hard, outer surface layer of your teeth that work to protect against tooth decay is known as enamel. Believe it or not, tooth enamel is the hardest mineral substance in your body. Genetics can determine how strong your enamel is and if you have weaker enamel, you may be more prone to cavities.


Saliva contains vital substances that your body needs to digest food and keep your teeth strong and healthy. It contains the proteins and minerals necessary to prevent cavities and gum decay. Research has proven that saliva may contain gene variants that affect how it fights bacteria in your mouth.


Just like bodies, teeth come in all types of shapes and sizes. If you were born with crowded teeth, you may have a more difficult time brushing and flossing than someone who has straight teeth. This can make it easier for plaque to settle and lead to cavities.

While you can’t control your genetic makeup, you can control your behaviors and how you care for your teeth. If you’d like to keep your teeth in optimal shape, it is you responsibility to brush them thoroughly at least twice a day and floss at least once daily.

You should also visit the dentist every six months for a routine exam and cleaning. In addition, make an effort to stay away from sugary foods and beverages that can take a toll on your oral health and opt for healthier options instead. Ou Wake Forest, NC dental friends at Wells Family Dental Group always remind patients that preventative maintenance is better than a root canal!

Schedule an Appointment River Run Dental

For more information on how genetics may affect your oral health, we encourage you to contact our Richmond, VA dental office today at 804-262-1060. We look forward to hearing from you!