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Artistic Expressions Dentistry

Can Poor Gum Health Be Caused by Genetic Factors?

By Bruce Wilderman on April 29, 2017

A senior patient flossing to maintain good gum healthAt Artistic Expressions Dentistry, Dr. Bruce Wilderman and his team have dedicated their professional lives to creating the natural-looking, aesthetically pleasing smiles that their patients will feel proud to show off to everyone they meet. However, they also believe that every beautiful smile is built upon a foundation of solid oral health. This is why Dr. Wilderman offers a comprehensive range of restorative dentistry procedures to complement his full selection of cosmetic dentistry treatments.

One of the cornerstones of good oral health is good periodontal health. Periodontal disease is the number-one cause of tooth loss among adults. Unfortunately, approximately 75 percent of all adults suffer from some degree of periodontal disease, most due to exposure to plaque bacteria over time. This is why Dr. Wilderman stresses the importance of proper brushing and flossing techniques, in addition to visiting his practice at least twice a year for professional cleanings and oral exams as recommended by the American Dental Association.

Plaque is far and away the primary cause of periodontal disease. However, there are some unfortunate cases in which patients are genetically predisposed to poor gum health. In discussing the issue of genetics and poor gum health during consultations at his Philadelphia, PA dental practice, Dr. Wilderman advises such patients that, while they may not be to blame for their predisposition to periodontal disease, they will have to be more careful than the average person when it comes to their oral health.

To learn more about the health of your gums, please schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Bruce Wilderman at Artistic Expressions Dentistry today.

Genetic Influences on Periodontal Health

According to a 2000 study cited in the New York Times “Gum Disease In-Depth Report,” genetic factors could contribute to as many as half of all cases of periodontal disease, while up to 30 percent of the population has at least some genetic susceptibility to gum disease. The study found that some people who had severe periodontitis, the more advanced stage of periodontal disease, had genetic factors that influenced the immune factor interleukin-1 (IL-1). This is a cytokine involved in the inflammatory response. People with such genetic factors were discovered to be up to 20 times more likely to develop severe periodontitis early in life than those who did not have these genetic factors.

This does not mean that people who are genetically predisposed to periodontal disease are destined to have poor gum health. It simply means that, if you have such a genetic predisposition, it is important that you establish a relationship with a dental practice that can provide routine periodontal care as soon as possible. When periodontal disease is caught in its earliest stages, it is actually quite treatable. While you may have to be more careful than the average person about your lifestyle choices, including the foods you consume and the avoidance of certain habits such as smoking, you can maintain good gum health for a lifetime with the right oral hygiene regimen and regular dental visits.

Learn More about Genetics and Poor Gum Health

To learn more about genetics and poor gum health, please contact Artistic Expressions Dentistry today.

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