Your Genes and Your Gums: How Genetics Can Influence Gum Disease

April 21, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — Keely Marlowe @ 7:01 pm
generations of family together showing how genetics can affect gum disease

You have your mom’s eyes and your grandpa’s ears, and you have your dad to thank for your hair color. Your cousins share your height, and your little sister has freckles just like you. There are certain traits that families share. Unfortunately, not all of them are pleasant.

When it comes to your oral health, you could be facing challenges as a result of your genes. Keep reading to learn about the influence of genetics on gum disease and what you can do about it.

Genetics and Gum Health

Although more research is needed, some studies have found that, like many other conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and more, people can be genetically predisposed to gum disease. This means that if you have family members who have gum disease, you potentially have a higher risk of getting it as well.

Being conscious of your family history can help you be aware of your health risks and take the proper precautions to avoid the conditions your body may be more prone to have.

Risk Factors for Gum Disease

Although your genes may play a role in your struggle with gum disease, there are many other factors that can have a more direct and larger impact on your oral health. For instance, you are significantly more likely to develop gum disease if you smoke, have bad oral hygiene, or have poorly managed diabetes.

Although your genes could make you more prone to gum disease, lifestyle risk factors, meaning the choices you make, tend to have a more powerful effect on your oral health.

Preventing and Treating Gum Disease

You may not be able to change your genetic makeup, but you can take measures to protect your smile. These tips include the following:

  • Brushing and flossing every day
  • Visiting the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings at least every six months
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Limiting your consumption of sugar
  • Managing medical conditions that can make you more vulnerable to inflammation or infection

While you meet with your dentist, tell them about your family history and your concerns. They can may be able to recommend certain brands of toothpaste, mouthwashes, or other products that could help you steer clear of gum disease.

If you already struggle with gum disease, your dentist can be your partner in keeping the infection under control. You may need to visit them more frequently, about every three to four months, for deep dental cleanings, but having a healthy smile is worth this investment of your time and effort.

Your genes don’t have to determine your oral health. Although your family history matters, you can take control and avoid gum disease through smart lifestyle choices. You can overcome what nature has given you and hold onto your strong smile!

About the Practice

Although Dr. Brodhagen and Dr. Zalec come from various backgrounds, they both have a similar philosophy when it comes to treatment patients—they listen! Working with their patients, they address concerns and provide treatment that meets needs. With years of advanced training and experience, they are able to offer gum disease therapy in the office as well as routine dental work. If you would like to schedule an appointment at Brodhagen Dental Care, you can contact our office online or by calling us at 920-499-2121.