Calgary Dentist Explains Whether Gingivitis is a Contagious Disease
Gingivitis, commonly termed gum disease or medically termed periodontal disease, is characterized by inflammation of the gums. It is most often caused by plaque bacterial infection in the gums. Some bacteria that result in gingivitis also play a role in causing cavities. Its symptoms include swollen, tender, red, and bleeding gums that can affect children and adults with poor oral hygiene. Many people wonder if gingivitis is a contagious disease.
Is Gingivitis A Contagious Disease?
The bacteria that cause gingivitis can be spread through saliva. It means that it can be spread through saliva-to-saliva contact, whether visible or not.
Your mouth is protected by your saliva from some of the bacteria you encounter. As such, although researchers have shown that it can be transmitted through kissing, other researchers suggested that it is unlikely. However, those who have poor oral health may be more vulnerable to getting the bacteria during kissing. This may lead to gingivitis.
How Does Gingivitis Spread?
Cohabitating couples develop similar bacterial populations. Since bacteria cause gingivitis, researchers have shown that it can be exchanged between people who live together by sharing silverware, utensils, saliva, and other items. Any objects contaminated by a person’s saliva can spread the virus by contact with the mouth.
Being exposed to someone’s saliva does not mean that you will immediately develop gingivitis. It is more on the long-term issues with maintaining oral health. If you have good oral hygiene, contracting the disease is less likely to happen but if you have poor oral health, you are more susceptible to developing gingivitis.
However, since babies have immune systems that are still growing, when a parent who has gingivitis kisses a baby on the lips, it is more likely to spread the bacteria to the baby’s mouth, leading to gingivitis. Many studies suggest that children are more likely to have gum disease if their parents do, but that doesn’t mean that gingivitis is a contagious disease.
What are the Symptoms of Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is diagnosed during dental check-ups and teeth cleanings. Although it is not a medical emergency, seek dental care from an affordable Calgary dentist if you have the following symptoms that might suggest gingivitis:
- Swollen gums
- Receding gums
- Bad breath
- Gums that bleed when flossing or brushing teeth
- Reddish coloration of gums instead of normal pinkish color
- Changes in the way one’s teeth or dentures fit
- Teeth that are loose
How Can You Prevent Gingivitis?
Having proper dental hygiene is essential not only to prevent diseases but also to improve your daily life. Here are some tips on preventing gingivitis:
1. Observe good oral hygiene
Make sure to brush your teeth up to three times or at least twice a day to keep your teeth healthy. Do not forget to floss to reach the deep crevices of your teeth. Focus also on taking care of your gums and tongue because they are still part of your mouth and it’s where bad bacteria usually reside.
2. Visit a Calgary dentist regularly
Make sure that you visit your dentist twice a year for a dental appointment so that your mouth will be monitored and examined in case of some diseases that you are unaware of. It is important that you know the conditions of your teeth and mouth as stated by a dental professional. If diagnosed, the Calgary dentist will be able to treat it and show you proper periodontal care.
3. Monitor your health
Aside from taking care of your dental hygiene after you eat, make sure that you also keep track of what you eat. Since your mouth is the entryway of most of your energy, you have to determine the benefits of your food to your body and your teeth and mouth. If you know this, you will see what you have to do to ensure your oral hygiene afterward.
If you feel like you are experiencing any of the symptoms stated above or if you just want to learn more about whether gingivitis is a contagious disease, visit Inglewood Family Dental for a thorough dental assessment and examination. Feel free to contact us at (403) 265-5888 to request an appointment! Our team is always looking forward to providing you with your dental care needs!