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Is periodontitis hereditary?

User Level:
Patient
Posted by: LSTugs  (9 years ago)
Dear Doctor,

My mother has periodontitis and she lost all her teeth at the age of 35. Her sisters also suffered from periodontitis and ended up with dentures. I read somewhere that this disease is genetic. Does that mean I will get it as well? If so, what will I do so I won’t lose all my teeth? I am really afraid that I will also end up with dentures just like my mom and aunts. Thanks for any responses.
User Level:
Dentist
Dear Doctor,

My mother has periodontitis and she lost all her teeth at the age of 35. Her sisters also suffered from periodontitis and ended up with dentures. I read somewhere that this disease is genetic. Does that mean I will get it as well? If so, what will I do so I won’t lose all my teeth? I am really afraid that I will also end up with dentures just like my mom and aunts. Thanks for any responses.


There is a gene for periodontitis, but it does not guarantee you will lose your teeth. Perio disease is multifactorial, a lot like atherosclerosis. Patient with a immune tendency toward hyperinflammation may need to get their teeth cleaned more than twice a year. In 31 years of practice, I have never had a perio patient who came faithfully every 3 months for cleanings lose all their teeth.

By the way, smoking is the number two factor in the progress of gum disease.

Kim Henry, D.M.D.
Posted 9 years ago
User Level:
Student
Posted by: ghnane  (9 years ago)
You can maintain good oral health practices at home such as brushing, flossing, and rinsing your mouth. Also make sure to see the dentist regularly to be on top of pocket depth and periodontal tissue health. Periodontitis is a chronic inflammation process where molecules released to fight infection end up destroying all the periodontal apparatus supporting out teeth in place. Make sure monitor plaque and calculus accumulation both sub and supra-gingivally.
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