Can Gum Disease Run In The Family?
Posted on 2/7/2022 by Gwinnett Dental Implant & Periodontal Center
|While gum disease is common among adults, not all cases arise from poor oral hygiene. Some individuals, no matter how often and effectively they keep their oral care in check, will suffer gum disease. This is particularly so due to genetic influence. You will realize that if your father, mother, grandparent, or uncle and aunt battle with swollen, red, or bleeding gums, you also have a greater risk of suffering the same fate.
Gum Disease and its Genetic Influence
Researchers have found a connection between an individual's genetics and the chances of developing gum disease. If a member of a family lacks beta-defensin 1, an antimicrobial peptide that helps combat bad bacteria as well as debris in the mouth, he or she may have an increased risk of developing gum disease, cavities, tooth decay, and tooth loss. It is also likely that you too lack this natural antimicrobial peptide, meaning you are also likely to suffer from these dental issues.
Aggressive periodontitis tends to run in families, and this phenomenon of genetics could play a part. That being said, your personal commitment to take care of or ignore your oral care can make a big difference in determining whether you get gum disease or not, regardless of the genetic factor.
Combating Gum Disease Associated with Genetics
Even if you are predisposed to gum disease as a result of your family genetic makeup, there are things you can do to help reduce the risk and have better oral health. First and foremost, ensure you maintain a regular oral hygiene regimen involving brushing and flossing. Also, use fluoride toothpaste. Make sure you utilize soft-bristled toothbrushes to brush your teeth. Use an ADA-approved mouthwash while flossing and brushing to combat gum disease. You also want to avoid smoking and the use of tobacco products because they increase the odds of suffering from gum disease.
Do away with bad habits that eat away or break down the enamel or cause gum recession such as biting your fingernails, aggressive brushing, eating ice, and teeth grinding. Eating healthy foods helps feed the gums and teeth with the necessary nutrients to help fight bad bacteria and ensure a healthy smile. In essence, even if gum disease is common in the family, you can still lower the risk. Contact us for more information about genetics and gum disease and how to prevent it.