The debate of whether gum disease can be classified as contagious is heated. However, most patients don’t care about the technical classification of gum disease. Patients want to know if they can contract gum disease from sharing utensils, drinks, or kisses with someone that has gum disease. In this post, we will discuss that.
Can I Get Gum Disease From Someone Else?
Gum disease is an infection caused by bacteria. Theoretically, if one of these gum disease-causing bacteria enters your mouth, you could contract gum disease. However, even if this bacteria transfers to your mouth, you may not get gum disease. Everyday, millions of bacteria enter your mouth, but good oral health habits, you can prevent disease-causing bacteria from multiplying. Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, eating a good diet, visiting Dr. Dernick at Smiles of Memorial twice a year, avoiding excessive alcohol, and not smoking are all ways that you can stop disease causing bacteria from multiplying in your mouth.
Who Is At Risk For Contracting Gum Disease?
Anyone who shares saliva with those who have gum disease is at risk for developing gum disease themselves. However, mothers who have gum disease and share utencials, kisses, and drinks with their infant children put their babies at an elevated risk of developing gum disease. This is why primary care providers and pediatric dentists stress the importance of not sharing saliva with young children.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Most adults have gum disease, but not everyone knows it. At first, the signs of gum disease can be subtle and may seem natural. Bleeding, red, irritated, receding, and swollen gums are all signs of gum disease. If you experience any of these symptoms, we urge you to visit Dr. Dernick at Smiles of Memorial right away. Early treatment is crucial. Gum disease is reversible in the early stages, called gingivitis. However, once gum disease reaches later stages, called periodontal disease, it is no longer reversible. Dr. Dernick and the Smiles of Memorial team wants to help you and your family avoid or control periodontal disease.
To Share Or Not To Share
Yes, we want to teach children at a young age to share, but sharing saliva could be dangerous. Next time you eat with your child, remember to use different utensils and cups. Lastly, avoid sharing mouth to mouth kisses because this could spread disease causing bacteria. If you think you or a loved one has gum disease, call Smiles of Memorial today to schedule an appointment.