Gum Disease – Can It Be Spread From Person to Person?

Did you know that about 47% of adults (30+) have at least some variation of gum disease and the Center for Disease control claims 70% of adults (65+) have periodontal disease?  Gum disease, which is sometimes known as periodontal disease, is a chronic pathological inflammatory condition. This results in health issues with your gums, bone, and connective tissues. If left untreated, it becomes irreversible and could lead to a loss of teeth.


How to Know if You Have Gum Disease:

  • Chronic bad breath
  • Irritated or swollen gums
  • Gums bleed when brushing or flossing
  • Severe toothaches (or pain while chewing food)
  • Pus between teeth and gums
  • Loose teeth (or even loss of teeth)



Did you just read that list and are fearful you may have gum disease? Don’t go straight to panic mode yet. Make sure to be aware of the difference between gum disease and gingivitis. Gingivitis is the warning sign of gum disease– when your symptoms are still in the reversible stage. So if you think you may be suffering from any of these symptoms, make sure to see your dentist and discuss what you can do to prevent gingivitis from turning into irreversible gum disease.


How It Happens:

  1. Your teeth start off healthy
  2. As your oral routine worsens, plaque begins to build up, leaving you with bad breath
  3. Gums become irritated/swollen
  4. Loss of tooth bone, gums recede (this may cause teeth to fall out!)


I’m sure you’re all wondering– Can it be spread by kissing or sharing saliva?

To invalidate the rumors, gum disease is not contagious.  You can not acquire the disease by sharing a drink or food with someone who unknowingly has gum disease.  However, long-term sharing of saliva through the sharing of food and drink or even kissing without proper hygiene could increase your risk of periodontal disease.

Poor oral hygiene and the spread of bacteria caused by poor oral hygiene causes gum disease.  If you are constantly exposed to the bacteria, your immune system may struggle to ward off the disease.


How to Prevent Gum Disease:

  • Brush twice daily
  • Floss!
  • Don’t share saliva with people who have poor oral hygiene
    • Sharing food and drink
    • Sharing a toothbrush
    • Kissing
  • Regular visits to the dentist


Routine visits to the dentist will ensure that your gums and teeth are in healthy condition– and if they aren’t, your dentist will do everything they can to reverse the symptoms to avoid any further problems or damage.


At Englewood Dental, we’re always happy to help. If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists, call us at 201-871-3556 or click here to connect online! 

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