Hair color, eye color, height, and dimples are all things you can get from family members, but can gum disease be passed down, too? In a recent study from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, researchers found that there is a link between genetics and advanced gum disease. Though the prospect of developing gum disease may be frightening, there are a number of ways you can combat it. Learn more about how genetics may put you at a higher risk for gum disease and what you can do to fight back against genetics.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease, is fairly easy to cure if caught early on. If left untreated, it may develop into periodontitis, a much more serious form of the disease. This can lead to the destruction of the jawbone and even tooth loss. Addressing gum disease as early as possible is crucial for preventing it from spreading and harming other parts of the body. Some common symptoms of gum disease to look out for include:
- Halitosis, or chronic bad breath
- Gums that are red, swollen, or tender
- Loose teeth
- Bleeding when brushing or flossing
- Pus between the teeth or gums
- Pockets of infection along the gum line
- Gums that appear to be receding
5 Tips to Prevent Gum Disease
A genetic predisposition to gum disease doesn’t mean all hope is lost. There are several things you can do to prevent gum disease from developing, including:
- Brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice per day and focus on the back of the teeth, the gum line, and your tongue.
- Floss every day to remove food particles caught between your teeth.
- Eat a well-balanced diet of lean meats, low fat and fat free dairy products, fruits, and veggies. Limit your sugar intake, and cut back on fatty, acidic, and processed foods that can wreak havoc on your mouth
- Avoid cigarettes and other tobacco products which weaken your body’s immune system, therefore making it more difficult for your gums to fight off infection.
- Visit the dentist bi-annually for cleanings, exams, and so they can keep a lookout for the earliest warning signs of gingivitis.
Next time you see your family, consider asking them if they’ve ever struggled with their gum health. Being aware of any potentially harmful genetic conditions can help you be proactive so you can maintain a healthy smile to last a lifetime!
About the Author
For over 30 years, Dr. Rodger Song has been providing high-quality, effective oral health care to the residents of Flower Mound and surrounding communities. With the help of his talented, friendly team at Bridlewood Dental, patients are sure to leave their appointments smiling from ear to ear. If your family has a history of gum disease, he can help you keep an eye out for any concerning developments and treat it if the need arises. Reach out today at (972) 906-9797 or visit Bridlewood Dental’s website to learn more about how to keep your gums and teeth in good condition.