Is Gingivitis Contagious? Our Calgary Dentist Provides Answers
Gingivitis is an all too common form of periodontal disease. It’s likely that the majority of people have heard of Gingivitis. It’s also likely that many of those who have heard of it are aware that it’s a disease that causes inflammation of the gums. However, many may still wonder: is gingivitis contagious? It’s not as widely known that Gingivitis is, in some ways, considered a contagious disease.
Gingivitis is a type of periodontal disease that is primarily characterized by gum inflammation. This can cause tender, swollen, and reddened gums that may also bleed, particularly when irritated. Gingivitis is caused by bacterial infection that is brought on by the buildup of plaque, and is more common in those with poor oral hygiene.
Over time and without proper oral care, plaque build up makes Gingivitis a likely occurrence. But unfortunately, poor oral hygiene and plaque isn’t the only way that Gingivitis-causing bacteria can enter the mouth. It is possible for the bacteria to be introduced to an uninfected person by someone who is already suffering from the disease.
Is Gingivitis Contagious?
Wait, is gingivitis contagious? While the answer to that question is yes, it’s important to start by emphasizing the fact that Gingivitis is not a highly contagious disease. It can’t be easily spread through the air, skin contact, or through touching an object that someone with Gingivitis has already touched. However, Gingivitis can be spread by the cross-contamination of saliva.
Any form of mouth to mouth contact that involves the interchange of saliva with someone who has Gingivitis can increase chances of infection. This is because the saliva can play host to the bacteria that causes the Gingivitis and allow it to be transferred to an uninfected person’s mouth.
Of course, activities that can lead to the exchange of saliva might be obvious and direct, such as kissing, but indirect mouth to mouth contact can also cause Gingivitis to spread. Such contact might include drinking from the same straw, eating from the same utensils, or sharing a toothbrush.
It should be mentioned that spreading Gingivitis by sharing someone’s drink is unlikely, but it can happen, particularly if the person taking the contaminated drink has a weak immune system or poor oral hygiene. For example, babies or young children who still have developing immune systems may be at risk.
How to Prevent Gingivitis
Although Gingivitis can be spread through saliva, the most likely way to contract the disease is through long-term poor oral hygiene. Keeping your mouth healthy is the best way to stop yourself from suffering from gum inflammation. Activities to reduce your chances of contracting the disease include:
- Regularly brushing your teeth, at least twice daily.
- Flossing a minimum of one time a day.
- Regularly visiting your Calgary dentist for a dental cleaning.
It’s also important to use a good quality toothpaste, as this can prevent the buildup of plaque which initially causes the bacteria that lead to Gingivitis to form. Furthermore, other unhealthy habits can lead to the development of Gingivitis. Smoking or chewing tobacco products can seriously increase the likelihood of developing the disease, as these activities can easily damage the inside of the mouth.
Have you ever wondered: is gingivitis contagious? If so, then now you know that is, and can take the requisite precautions to defend against catching it. If you are concerned that you may have already developed Gingivitis, it’s time to visit your Calgary dentist! Symptoms of the disease include bad breath, tender gums, a swollen gum line, and bleeding or irritated gums. Gingivitis can be painful, and your Calgary dentist will be able to properly treat the disease, starting with a thorough tooth cleaning. Once teeth are properly cleaned, it’s then possible to maintain good oral hygiene and keeping them clean so the gums can heal and the Gingivitis doesn’t return.
At Inglewood Family Dental, we look forward helping you develop a preventive dental care plan that emphasizes periodontal care to keep your teeth healthy and strong, for a lifetime of use.