Gum disease is a bacterial infection. Can you catch it? Can you give someone gum disease? Read about the transmission of gum disease. Or call (805) 388-5700. Your Dentist Camarillo CA.
Periodontal Disease Transmission
Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection. The bacteria that are present in plaque can infect the gums (gingivitis) and destroy the bone and tissues that support the teeth in what is called periodontitis -- the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. In addition, periodontal disease has been linked to more serious health threats such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and pre-term, low-birthweight babies.
But is periodontal disease contagious? Can it be passed on from one person to another like tuberculosis or meningitis? Can you get periodontal disease by kissing someone who has it? The answer to all these questions is YES.
In an article published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, it was revealed that periodontal disease might be passed from parents to children and between intimate partners.
Molecular genetic techniques have shown that the particular type of bacteria that a parent has can be identical genetically to that of a child. This is also true in 20% to 30% of married couples. Two of the bacteria that have been found to be identical are Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and Porphyromonas gingivalis. These bacteria are responsible for advanced forms of periodontal disease and are rarely found in people with healthy gums.
The bacteria that inhabit the periodontal pockets are also present on the oral soft tissues, teeth, tongue, and saliva. They can be transferred from one person to another through saliva. intimate kissing, sharing of food, utensils, or toothbrushes, and can result in exposure to saliva that contain the bacteria that cause periodontal disease. The frequency of exposure and the person's susceptibility affect the likelihood of infection and development of periodontal disease from exposure to bacteria-infected saliva.
Based on these findings and the fact that periodontal disease has a genetic component, it is recommended that if one family member has periodontal disease, all family members see a dental care professional for a periodontal screening. Parents need to know that periodontal disease is not just an adult health problem and that children also can be affected.
To prevent transmission of periodontal disease between family members or intimate partners, it is important to follow proper oral hygiene techniques that include daily brushing and flossing and to see us routinely for professional cleanings and examinations. If you or your partner are diagnosed as having periodontal disease, you need to be aware that intimate contact through saliva could result in periodontal disease transmission.