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Is Periodontal Disease Contagious?

Is Periodontal Disease Contagious?

Is periodontal disease contagious? The answer isn’t as easy as yes or no.

Throughout the years, the Farber Center blog has tried to keep you informed about the dangers of periodontal disease. Proper oral hygiene is, obviously, the most important step that you can take to avoid the complications that come along with gum disease. You might be asking, “well, is periodontal disease contagious?” No, not technically but there might be a little more to it than that!

What?

Taken directly from Perio.org—the official website for the American Academy of Periodontology:

“Research has shown that periodontal disease is caused by the inflammatory reaction to bacteria under the gums, so periodontal disease technically may not be contagious. However, the bacteria that cause the inflammatory reaction can be spread through saliva.”

While they feel that technically periodontal disease is not contagious, they continue to state the bacteria can transfer from one person to another.

Wait, so is Periodontal Disease Contagious?

We know their answer can be confusing but if the bacterium that causes the reaction can transfer from person to person, then you should be careful. There is a slightly increased chance of getting gum disease if your partner already has it. Children with parents who have periodontal disease are also at a slightly higher risk of receiving it themselves.

Ways to Spread the Bacteria

Sharing utensils like forks or spoons can transfer saliva from one person to another, as can kissing. We would never recommend sharing a toothbrush; they too can pass active bacteria from one person to another.

What to Do If I Have Periodontal Disease?

As mentioned above, try to avoid sharing utensils or tools that can spread the bacteria. You certainly don’t require quarantine but as a courtesy to family or partners, you should be careful. Curing periodontal disease isn’t the uphill battle it used to be. With regular visits to the Farber Center for Periodontics and Dental Implants and proper oral hygiene, you can get back to your regular life pretty quickly! For more information about our practice or to speak with someone here you can call 800.616.7010 or visit our website and complete our contact form.