Gingivitis and Your Genes

Have you ever gone to the dentist, expecting a good report, only to be fussed at by the hygienist for bleeding gums? You brushed, flossed, and stayed away from candy for the past six months -- so why on earth do you still have inflamed gums?


Inflammation of the gums is known as gingivitis and caused by an inflammatory response in the tissue of your gums. Periodontal disease is another term you may have heard mentioned by your hygienist (as she stabs your gums with the sharp poking tool). Periodontal disease is a term that includes gingivitis and then the next step - inflammation of the jaw bone and loose teeth.[ref]

So what causes gingivitis? Lack of brushing and flossing...  maybe. Smoking, for sure.

But what if you do regularly brush and floss? And what about those people (you know who you are) who don't brush and floss but have healthy gums?

Notably, the key here is the body's response to the bacteria and biofilm on the teeth. The mouth is teeming with bacteria, and your immune system is on high alert to keep those bacteria from crossing into the bloodstream.

This isn't just about a little bleeding when you brush or floss. Gingivitis and the increased risk of heart disease are also connected. This connection may be due to increased systemic inflammation.[ref]

Frequently, people with gingivitis have higher CRP levels on average than people without gingivitis. And people with periodontitis had even higher CRP levels.[ref]

Genetic variants associated with gingivitis

Your genetic variants in genes related to inflammatory cytokines can greatly increase your risk of having inflamed gums.


Oh, no!  You've reached the end of the Free Preview of this Member's Only Article.

Love what you're reading? Join as a Genetic Lifehacks member for full access to this article and more!

Benefits include:

  • being able to view your genetic data right in the articles ~no more looking up rs ids!~
  • topic overview reports that visually show you which articles are relevant to your genes.
  • awesome articles explaining your genes, lifehacks (solutions!) relevant to you, and the scientific research behind them.
  • ad-free experience, no tracking and privacy is the no. 1 priority!

Click here to learn more and subscribe today!

Already a member? Please log in below to read the rest of the article and view the lifehacks.