portrait of three generations of menThe leading cause of tooth loss is periodontal disease. In fact, nearly half of all Americans will develop the condition at some point in their lives. While neglectful habits and poor oral hygiene can certainly contribute to gum disease, these are not the only factors. Genetics play a significant role as well. If you have gum disease in Denver, our doctors at Metropolitan Dental Care can help identify the root cause and treat the condition accordingly.

Hereditary Effects on Periodontal Disease

Heart disease and other serious health conditions can often run in families. The same is true for periodontal disease. Many of our patients who suffer from the condition also report that they have grandparents, parents, or siblings with gum disease as well.

What Does This Mean?

The presence of gum disease does not necessarily indicate poor oral hygiene. In fact, some patients can brush and floss diligently every day for years, yet still suffer from red, swollen, tender gums. Therefore, those with gum disease simply have a higher inflammatory response to plaque and other irritants compared to individuals without the condition. While most dental professionals agree there is an undeniable hereditary component, no research studies have found a single gene responsible for this disease.

Preventing Gum Disease in Denver

When it comes to gum disease, prevention is key. This is especially true if you are genetically prone to the condition. The best way to combat periodontal disease is to undergo routine dental cleanings at intervals recommended by your dentist. While patients without gum disease can usually maintain optimal health with cleanings twice a year, those who suffer from the condition often require cleanings every three to four months. This is because the oral bacteria levels begin to rise quicker in individuals with gum disease. Therefore, more care should be taken to keep harmful microbes at bay.

Treating Gum Disease in Denver

If you have already developed periodontal disease, your recommended treatment will be contingent on the stage of the condition. Gum disease has three primary stages: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis.

Fortunately, gingivitis can be treated with a regular dental cleaning. This will sweep away plaque, tartar, and bacteria and decrease redness and inflammation.

If the disease has advanced into periodontitis, there is bone loss present. To reach the deep pockets that have formed around the teeth roots, a deep dental cleaning – called scaling and root planing – will be necessary. This nonsurgical treatment is similar to a regular cleaning. However, the gums will also be numbed to ensure your comfort during your visit.

Advanced periodontitis requires surgical intervention. To begin, an incision is created in the gum tissue, and the gums are moved back away from the teeth. This allows the doctor to visualize the teeth roots and supporting bone while eradicating infected tissue and bacteria. Once the procedure is complete, the gums are repositioned and sutured into place.

Other Risk Factors

Of course, heredity is not the only risk factor associated with gum disease. It can also be caused by:

  • Tobacco use
  • Stress
  • Certain medications
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding)
  • Poor nutrition
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Systemic diseases
  • Age

Contact Metropolitan Dental Care

No matter what the cause of gum disease, it is important to schedule an appointment with your dentist right away if you suspect you have the condition. Metropolitan Dental Care has a periodontist on staff, Dr. Mike Norouzinia, who can effectively diagnose and treat gum disease. In addition to serving patients in Denver, our dentists are proud to serve the neighboring towns of Parker, Highlands Ranch, and Centennial. To schedule an appointment with us, call us at 303-534-2626 or contact us online anytime.