Is Gum Disease Contagious and How Do I Prevent It?

normal tooth vs periodontitis also known as gum disease

Gum disease, or periodontitis, is much more common than you may think. To put it in perspective, one out of two American adults over the age of thirty have some form of gum disease according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s 64.7 million Americans. Now, you might be concerned and asking yourself, is gum disease contagious? Let’s get to the bottom of this!

Cause of gum disease

Gum disease develops when bacteria finds its way below the gum line and the tooth and gum become detached from each other. Unfortunately, gum disease is often painless and silent, which means you can have it and may not even know it. When left untreated, a mild form of gum disease (gingivitis) can eventually become severe and result in tooth loss and infection.

Is gum disease contagious?

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, gum disease is not technically contagious because it is an inflammatory reaction to the bacteria under your gums. On the other hand, if a friend or family member has gum disease, it is recommended that you avoid contact with their saliva as the bacteria can be contagious. This means avoid sharing utensils, using the same dental equipment, and kissing to keep you away from risk of coming in contact with their saliva.

How do I prevent gum disease?

Taking care of your mouth is the first step. This includes brushing, flossing and using mouth wash daily, and getting regular checkups at the dentist. Next, look out for warning signs of gum disease which include red, swollen or bleeding gums and bad breath. If you notice any of these signs, make it a point to schedule an appointment with your dentist soon. Afterall, treating gum disease in its earliest stages can save you a lot of time, money and pain in the long run.

To schedule your dental appointment, contact local Newburgh, NY dentist Dr. Michael Koumas.


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