Study Finds Substantial Genetic Basis For Risk Of Periodontal Disease

CHICAGO November 30, 2000 A study published in the Journal of Periodontology indicates that genetics plays an important role in both the development and the aggression of periodontal disease. Specifically, research has shown that almost 50% of those diagnosed with periodontal disease can trace its prominence to genetic variation. The study was conducted on 64 pairs of identical twins and 53 pairs of fraternal twins, and concluded that 48-59% of differences amongst the twins in measures of periodontal disease. They also found that, amongst identical twins, eight measures were statistically significant, whereas only two measures were statistically significant between fraternal twins.

Families And Periodontal Disease

Chicago October 13, 1997 Several published findings have discovered a correlation between family members and the development of periodontal disease.

Periodontal Disease Transmitted Between Family Members:

  • An article published in the September 1997 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association concluded that periodontal disease can be transmitted from parents to their offspring.
  • The bacteria that leads to periodontal disease is concentrated in saliva. Thus, daily contact with family members puts children at risk for developing the disease from a parent.

Genetic Marker Discovered for Periodontal Disease:

  • A study published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology found that nearly 30% of people are genetically susceptible to forming severe periodontal disease, a reality which is important as it can lead to prevention and early identification of the disease.


  • The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) recommends that all family members of a patient diagnosed with periodontal disease receive regular screening by a dental professional.