Is Gum Disease Genetic?

Wondering if you’re more likely to get gum disease because your mother, father or other family members have developed it in the past? In this blog from the office of Wesley C. Wise, DDS & Assoc., we’ll discuss everything that you need to know.

Genetics May Affect Your Risk Of Gum Disease

Periodontal (gum) disease is caused by a variety of different things, but genetics is definitely part of it. Certain people may be more at risk of developing gum disease due to genetic factors. A review of meta-analyses about gum disease and genetics found that certain people were more genetically prone to inflammation, which could increase the risk of gum disease. 

Understanding Other Common Risk Factors For Gum Disease

While genetics does have an effect on your risk of gum disease, there are a lot of other factors that may also have an impact on your risk. 

  • Oral hygiene – Proper brushing and flossing are critical for preventing the buildup of plaque and tartar, which cause gum disease.
  • Diabetes – Uncontrolled diabetes results in high blood sugar levels, which increase your risk of developing gum disease.
  • Dry mouth – Dry mouth (xerostomia) can occur due to age, certain medications, and drinking alcohol. It reduces saliva flow, which increases the risk of gum disease and other issues like oral thrush.
  • Alcohol and tobacco use – Sugary, alcoholic beverages dry out your mouth and lead to more bacterial activity. Tobacco use impairs the natural healing processes of your gums, and reduces blood flow to the gums, increasing the risk of gum disease.
  • Stress – Studies have shown that chronic stress can reduce your body’s ability to fight inflammation, which could lead to a higher risk of developing gum disease. 
  • Poor nutrition/diet/obesity – A high-sugar diet increases your risk of gum disease. Your gums also need certain vitamins like vitamins C and D and iron to stay healthy. Obesity is also associated with a higher risk of gum disease.

Our Tips For Gum Disease Prevention 

How can you fight back against the factors that cause gum disease? Here are a few tips. 

  • Brush and floss regularly – Brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing once a day is the best way to fight back against gum disease. There is no substitute for proper oral hygiene. 
  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash – This can help reduce the buildup of bacteria in your mouth, reducing your risk of gum disease.
  • See a dentist every six months – Regular dental visits and teeth cleanings let you track your dental health and keep your teeth strong and healthy.
  • Stop using tobacco – Smoking and oral tobacco (chew, snus, etc.) can both damage your gums. You need to stop using tobacco to ensure your gums are healthy.
  • Reduce sugar/starch intake – A healthy diet full of vegetables, fruit, whole grains and lean meats will keep your teeth and gums healthy, particularly compared to a diet with a lot of sugar, simple starches, and overly-processed foods.

Need Help With Gum Disease? Come To The Office Of Wesley C. Wise, DDS & Assoc.! 

Dr. Wise can provide you with the advice and dental care you need to reduce your risk of gum disease, or to treat an existing case of gum disease and prevent further damage to your teeth and gums. Don’t wait. The sooner you get periodontal care in Oak Park, the sooner you can take control of your oral health. Contact us now at (708) 524-0330, or stop by our office at 137 N Oak Park Ave, Oak Park, IL 60301 to get started.