Kissing is one of the ultimate expressions of love between couples of all ages. But recently, here at Armin Abron, DDS, MS, PLLC, we had a female patient pay us a visit here in Washington, DC and she asked a curious question: “My husband was told he’s showing early signs of gum disease and wanted to know if it’s contagious when we kiss?” Lucky for her, we had the answers, and we wanted to share our findings with you below!
First off, let’s start at the source: what is gum disease and how does it occur? Gum disease is a bacterial infection in the gums that causes inflammation, redness, bleeding, sensitivity, and sometimes pain. This inflammatory disease is typically caused by bacteria that consume leftover sugars and food particles from meals. They dispense waste in the form of plaque as they consume, and this plaque can fester under the gum line, leading to gum disease.
So, to answer that patient’s question, “Is it contagious?” The answer truly is…no. At least, not in the sense that it can spread like a cold or the flu. When you kiss your significant other, you actually pass all sorts of bacteria in your saliva. For the most part, these bacteria are harmless and get washed away into your stomach and waste, or are eliminated thanks to your immune system.
In the case that gum disease-causing bacteria enters your system, these can be easily remedied with good oral care. You would only need to worry about contracting your partner’s gum disease if you often share eating utensils or toothbrushes.
In the meantime, what can you do to spare your smile from the worst of gum disease is keep tabs on your oral care regimen. Gum disease begins with poor oral care, especially after big meals or from improper cleaning techniques. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day, and flossing vigilantly, will keep food particles out of your gums and between your teeth. Be sure to attend regular dental checkups as well, to ensure that you don’t possess any early warning signs of gum disease (or tooth decay). Truthfully, the best way to combat this disease is to catch it early and keep it from becoming worse.
While rare, it does happen: patients can lose teeth to gum disease if the condition is left unchecked and untreated. The disease ravages the tooth until it becomes too damaged to be supported in the jawbone and either falls out or needs to be extracted. Should this happen to you, we offer quality dental implants that are durable, resistant to stains, and reliable for years to come. If you have found that untreated gum disease has loosened your teeth or caused some to fall out, contact us right away to see if you qualify for dental implants.
Dr. Amrin Abron
1712 I Street, NW
Monday: 8AM - 4PM
Tuesday: 8AM - 4PM
Wednesday: 8AM - 4PM
Thursday: 8AM - 4PM
Friday: 8AM - 4PM