@raynbow- I think that someone who has heredity gum recession can usually tell by the appearance of his or her teeth, because the smile line may be very toothy. The gums may also have the tendency to bleed easily when that person brushes or flosses his or her teeth.
A person should also ask family members if others in the family have gum problems. If the answer is yes, this would be an indicator that there are hereditary dental issues in the family.
I think that oral hygiene and poor lifestyle choices like tobacco use are the main causes of shrinking gums, because both issues take a toll on oral health. They will also make any hereditary gum issues that do already exist that much worse.