If you have a family history of gum disease, then you are more likely to have problems with your gums. According to the American Dental Association, genetics is a risk factor for developing gum disease. This disease usually starts out as gingivitis, which is characterized by swollen, tender gums that may bleed during brushing. If left untreated, it can develop into periodontitis and eventually lead to tooth loss. Unlike other controllable risk factors such as smoking or poor oral hygiene, your genetic makeup is out of your control. What can you do for your teeth and gums to help prevent this disease, even if it runs in your family?