Patients suffering from periodontitis or pyorrhoea often tell us in the surgery that one or both of their parents also had problems with their gums, sometimes serious, leaving their roots exposed and even occasionally leading to premature tooth loss.
The different kinds of periodontitis are caused by an infection in the gums and bones surrounding the tooth and holding it in place. Your organism may react to this in different ways: while in some people a small infection can lead to serious issues, in others an important infection may produce only very few symptoms
The same applies to tooth brushing. In some cases people who brush their teeth less regularly have no gum problems, whereas others who take good care of their teeth start bleeding and suffer gum trouble if they fail to brush them as often as they usually do for whatever reason.
Whether we are resistant to or suffer greatly from periodontal problems is partly hereditary in nature. The genes that make us susceptible to periodontitis have been identified, and this susceptibility can be passed down from parents to their children.
In a family, even if its members suffer the same diseases, these are not always transmitted for genetic reasons, but due to incorrect and harmful habits.
In periodontitis, eating the wrong kind of foods, such as those containing high quantities of sugar, or having a tendency to eat sweets or consume sugary drinks between meals, as well as other habits like smoking or only rarely cleaning your teeth, all have a harmful effect.
What to do
Although one of your parents has suffered periodontitis and has been wearing false teeth since a relatively young age, don’t worry. Apart from not being genetically identical to each of your patients, in our country dental hygiene was particularly poor until only a few decades ago.
The frequency with which you brush your teeth and today’s dental hygiene products (toothpastes, mouthwashes, electric toothbrushes, etc.) have improved greatly since your parents’ days and, with a little care, you are unlikely to suffer the same problems as your parents, or if you do, to a lesser extent.
Furthermore, years ago periodontitis was rarely treated and was left to develop until the tooth or teeth had to be taken out. Today we have treatments to correct its negative effects.
If you have a tendency to suffer from periodontitis or suspect that this may be the case,you should brush your teeth often and very carefully, as well as making regular visits to your dentist foracheck-upandcleaning. This may stop certain bacteria from developing and prevent the disease from taking hold.
You can also tell us about your food and hygiene habits and we will advise you on the best way to protect yourself against the disease.