Genetics: A Thorough Patient History Could Reveal Periodontal Risks
Researchers believe that among environmental factors and lifestyle choices, periodontal disease, which could lead to dental implants, has a genetic element, which causes some people to be more susceptible to issues than others. So, when I asked my mom and dad about their history with dental disease, they confirmed that they both suffered from periodontal disease and have had dental intervention to strengthen and fix their mouth structure. I never knew.
While we talked about heart health, cancer, diabetes and other commonly-discussed family health issues, we didn’t even think to direct that conversation toward our oral health and the impact genetics may have. For the sake of better understanding my overall health picture, and providing my team of dental experts with the information they need to provide the best periodontal care in Mississauga possible, we should have had that conversation.
While I would prefer to stop the genetic link at my green eyes, now that I know my family dental history, my team at Periodontal Associates in Mississauga can help me take a more proactive approach to my dental care; hopefully helping me avoid the same fate as my parents. However, if I do show signs of dental distress, we are now more aware and can proactively address issues as they arise.
Periodontal Research Still Ongoing
While periodontal research into genetics is still in the relatively early stages, researchers do know that the dental elements linked to genetics include:
Some people have softer tooth enamel than others and there’s nothing they can do about it, despite the suggestions of some toothpaste companies. The softer the enamel, the easier it is for bacteria to take hold and breach the tooth, leading to cavities. Because genes are the primary determinant of enamel structure, they have a big effect on whether you get tooth decay…often the first sign of larger periodontal issues.
Calcium, potassium and other elements are required elements for strong healthy teeth that resist tooth decay. While we know that a healthy diet contributes to your body getting the nutrients it needs for healthy teeth, those nutrients must be properly metabolized for the body to use them to their full potential. Your saliva plays a big part in this process, and scientists have identified gene variants that make some people better at it than others.
What Your Periodontal Expert Needs to Know About Your Genetics and Medical History
The more information you share with your Mississauga-based expert periodontal team, the better they can identify risks associated with periodontal disease. Before your first visit, take time to ensure you have information about the following health topics to share with your dental expert:
- Do you have family history of cancer? If yes, who and which types?
- Are there cardiovascular health issues in your family?
- Joint health… is there a family history of arthritis?
- Allergies for you or anybody in your family?
- Do you or any of your family have dental sensitivities, such as bleeding gums, sensitivities, loose teeth, etc…?
- Are you taking medication for ANY reason? Are you taking any new medications?
- Has there been any changes in your gums, such as changes in colour, tenderness or bleeding when you brush or floss?
These are just some of the questions the team at Periodontal Associates in Mississauga will ask, but gives you a good start to ensure you are thinking how your overall wellness can impact your dental health.