Is Periodontal Disease Genetic?
Most physical traits are genetic, from the color of your eyes to how tall you are. But is periodontal disease one of these genetic traits that can be passed down from generation to generation, in the same way the color of your hair or your height are?
Recent studies point to a genetic link
A team of Swedish researchers and scientists conducted a study to discover whether it was possible for people to inherit certain periodontal traits. Based on their findings, they concluded that people can inherit some traits associated with periodontitis, or that people may have genetic risk factors that can affect the severity and of gum disease. The researchers stated, “This supports current clinical understanding of periodontitis as a disease with a moderate genetic basis but with important variation due to environmental factors.”
While the genetic link is still being studied, this genetic component is particularly noticeable in serious gum disease, and also in gum disease that appears earlier in life. Aggressive periodontitis, in which rapid bone loss occurs around certain teeth, is an example of this genetic component, and it is often common among members of the same family.
What are the signs or indications of periodontal disease?
There are a number of indications of periodontal disease. Patients may have one or several of the following concerns:
- Swollen, sore gums
- Bleeding or receding gums
- Bad breath or halitosis
- Pus along the gum line
- Loose teeth
- Pain when chewing food
- Tooth loss
What can be done about potentially genetic periodontal disease?
Whether it’s genetic or not, periodontal disease is definitely triggered by environmental factors, such as not brushing or flossing the teeth, diabetes, smoking, and a poor diet. As the researchers stated, the genetic component has an important variation due to environmental factors.
Even if you are genetically predisposed to periodontal disease, you may not ever have a serious case of it if your oral health habits are excellent. You can take charge over periodontal disease, whether it is or isn’t genetic, by keeping your good habits in place. Brush and floss, have regular checkups and dental cleanings, and avoid smoking! Be sure to follow a nutritious diet, and if you have a medical condition, get proper treatment and medication, as this will also help protect your oral health.
During your examination at our office, please be sure to tell us if there is any family history of periodontal disease. We will be interested in your own gum care routine, oral habits and health, and our treatment will be tailored to your medical history and current needs. We provide many options for preventing and treating gum disease, and we can help keep your gums and teeth healthy and strong. So, even if your family history includes periodontal disease, with the proper care, the thing your family can have most especially in common will be bright, healthy smiles.
Charleston Center for Cosmetic Dentistry
At Charleston Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, our goal is to provide you with the highest possible quality wellness and aesthetic dentistry, tailored to meet your individual needs and desires. Dr. John F. Rink is among the best cosmetic dentists Charleston has to offer. He is the first in Charleston to achieve the prestigious accredited status in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD).
Dr. Rink puts his patients first and dedicates himself to their care. We look forward to welcoming you to our office and helping you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile!