While periodontal disease is caused by bacteria, it is not strictly “caught” in the same ways that colds and flu are caught. There are hundreds of bacteria that live in your mouth. Under normal health circumstances they are kept in balance. When a person is susceptible to gum disease, these bacteria get out of balance and cause the damage known as “pyorrhea” or periodontal disease. Genetics, systemic disease and sometimes infrequent dental care influence the course of the disease.
Available now is the genetic test that can tell you from a drop of blood whether you have a familial tendency towards periodontal disease. If a parent has lost teeth from gum disease their children should consider the benefits of the new genetic testing procedure. This will enable treatment decisions to be made much earlier for a better lifetime dental outcome.