Is periodontal disease contagious?
It is a common occurrence for adults in the United States to develop some form of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. If you have received a diagnosis of this condition, there is no need to feel isolated or ashamed, as you are not alone. Periodontal diseases vary in severity, ranging from mild gum inflammation to debilitating disease that causes significant harm to the soft tissue and bone beneath, which support the teeth. In extreme cases, such conditions may lead to tooth loss. The progression of your gum disease is primarily influenced by the way you maintain dental and periodontal hygiene on a daily basis. It should be noted, though, that the microorganisms responsible for the inflammatory response possess the potential to spread through saliva. In order to mitigate potential transmission of periodontal disease, it is advisable to refrain from coming into contact with the saliva of any family member who may be afflicted. The contagious nature of this condition will now be explored and analyzed.
What is periodontal disease?
It is a widely unknown fact that periodontal diseases are prevalent amongst individuals. Periodontal disease, also referred to as gingivitis, is a medical condition that affects the gums, leading to inflammation and sensitivity.
Periodontal disease is a condition characterized by infection and inflammation, which can cause damage to both gums and the bone surrounding them.
The initial phase of this condition is referred to as gingivitis, wherein the gums exhibit signs of inflammation and swelling, which could potentially lead to bleeding. If left untreated, the ailment can result in an advanced stage called periodontitis. As a consequence, the gum recession causing bone deterioration and tooth decay, eventually resulting in tooth loss.
Research has shown that periodontal disease can impact any individual; however, as one ages, the likelihood of being affected by this condition increases. Moreover, gender is also a significant factor as males are more prone to developing gingivitis than females.
How is it spread?
Periodontitis is a type of bacterial infection that affects the gums, and it can be transmitted through saliva. Recent studies have utilized advanced DNA coding methodologies to monitor the path of this infectious disease as it spreads from one individual to another. To put it differently, intimate acts such as kissing and close physical interaction are contributing factors to the spread of this gum infection. In the case of being married to a partner with periodontal disease, the possibility of facing gum-related issues escalates marginally. Additional research has shown that transmission via saliva is prevalent in familial environments through the act of coughing, sneezing, and sharing of food and utensils. Offspring of parents with periodontal disease face a slightly elevated risk of acquiring the ailment. However, it is important to note that sharing bacteria with your family members does not automatically result in the development of periodontal disease.
Prevention of Periodontal Disease
Preventing periodontal disease is undeniably the most effective method of dental treatment. It can be achieved by incorporating fundamental oral hygiene practices that have been reiterated throughout your lifetime.
- Practice proper oral hygiene by brushing your teeth twice daily.
- Use of mouthwash on a daily basis.
- Flossing your teeth on a daily basis or at least two to three times a week.
- Visit to your dentist at least once every year.
- Refrain from sharing saliva with individuals who exhibit inadequate oral hygiene or have been diagnosed with gum disease. Do not:
- Share food or drinks
- Share utensils
- Share toothbrushes
Incorporating simple daily oral routines should not be undervalued. Your oral health will greatly benefit from conscientiously adopting these small habits. By keeping up with routine dental check-ups and cleanings, you give your dentist the opportunity to identify early warning signs of gingivitis, thus preventing its progression towards gum disease.