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Can Gum Disease Run in Your Family?

July 20, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — franklindentalteam @ 10:42 am
Person with gum disease

You’ve heard the phrase “runs in the family,” right? It refers to how people can inherit body traits from their parents, grandparents, etc. You might have your father’s eyes, your mother’s facial structure, or your grandmother’s smile. You probably know you can inherit a risk for medical problems too. As it turns out, things like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and depression have genetic factors. That said, did you know gum disease can also run in the family? To learn more, here’s a summary of the condition’s symptoms, genetic influence, and prevention tips.

“Remind Me, What’s Gum Disease?”

Gum disease is an infection of your gum tissue caused by harmful bacteria.

It usually starts as gum inflammation. However, left untreated, it can reach its advanced form called periodontitis. When that happens, the condition can lead to tooth loss. Gingivitis is treatable, while advanced gum disease can only be managed.

The condition’s symptoms typically include:

  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Bleeding when brushing and flossing
  • Pus between the gums
  • Gum recession
  • Chronic bad breath

“Is It Genetic?”

While gum disease is often triggered by poor oral hygiene, it also involves genes. For example, studies show aggressive periodontitis is more common among members of the same family. Research also suggests that genes influence your risk of cavities, which can lead to gum disease. Still, many believe the link between gums and genetics needs more investigation.

You should tell your dental team if your family has a history of gum disease. That way, they can tailor your treatment and offer suggestions for dental care.

“How Can I Prevent It?”

Despite genes’ influence, you can keep yourself from having gum disease. It’s just a matter of following good habits and routines. Consider the ones below:

  • Practice good oral hygiene: Remember to brush your teeth twice daily, floss at least once daily, and rinse with an ADA-approved mouthwash.
  • Don’t Smoke or Use Tobacco: Doing so will weaken your immune system and make you vulnerable to gum infection.
  • Eat a Healthy Diet: Eating too many sugary, fatty, and acidic foods can inflame gum tissue.
  • Visit your Dentist Regularly: Six-month checkups and cleanings let your dentist detect, prevent, and treat gum disease before it worsens.

You aren’t destined to get gum disease just because a relative had it. Just follow the tips above and talk with your local dentist to ensure your gums stay a healthy pink!

About the Practice

Franklin Dental Center is based in Tyler, TX. As led by Dr. Donna Franklin-Pitts, the practice is passionate about serving the local community’s families with superior dentistry. Its staff offers preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dental treatments, including emergency services. They also provide patients with periodontal therapy as needed. For more information or to book an appointment, you can reach them at their website or call (903)-730-6314.

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