You may see around 50% of the patients at the dentists to seek treatment for gum disease. Gingivitis is quite common among the residents of the U.S., and almost every other person has a complaint of bleeding or swollen gums; but why is that so? Is it because gingivitis is a contagious disease? Let’s find out.

So, Is Gingivitis Really Contagious?

The bacteria responsible for gingivitis is transmissible from one individual to another. So, even though it is labeled that gingivitis itself is not contagious, people can spread bacteria through saliva-to-saliva contact.

Does That Mean Gingivitis Can Spread Through Kissing?

Saliva is a protective measure that helps protect your mouth against bacteria that are commonly introduced into your mouth. It is quite unlikely to spread gingivitis by kissing, but people with poor oral health are at increased risk of the exchange of bacteria.

Other than that, you will also find babies among the high-risk group for developing gingivitis. This does not mean it is contagious, but it is due to their weak immune systems. When anyone older than that baby with gingivitis kisses them on the lips, it is possible to spread the bacteria to their mouth.

In fact, parent-to-child transmission of gingivitis is not something new. Children are more likely to develop gum disease if their parents do.

What About Sharing Drinks?

Drinking from a shared cup is nothing like kissing; however, salivary transmission is still there. This means that if you have gingivitis, bacteria in your saliva may spread to the outside of your cup or straw. And as soon as you are exposed to the contaminated utensil, the bacteria can easily transfer.

Although we must mention here that it is highly unlikely to develop gingivitis by merely drinking from the same cup as someone with the disease. However, if your immune system and oral health is already weak; steer clear of sharing.

Diagnosis of Gingivitis

Gingivitis spreads subtly in the beginning making it go unnoticed by a layman. This is why dental care experts emphasize bi-annual checkups. This helps dentists diagnose the condition early on for full reversal.
Here’s what they do:

  • Measure the depth of the pocket space between your gums and teeth.
  • Get a dental X-ray done.
  • Blood screening may be necessary if there is a history of underlying conditions.

Treatment for Gingivitis

If the disease is in its mild to moderate range, proper oral hygiene is enough.

  • Brush and floss your teeth with the help of a soft-bristled toothbrush at least 2 times a day or after every meal.
  • Do not brush aggressively; apply gentle, circular motions.
  • Use of fluoride-infused toothpaste.
  • Regular flossing.
  • No smoking
  • Regular dental checkups.

If the condition goes unnoticed, gingivitis worsens into periodontal and needs proper treatment that includes:

  • A professional, deep dental cleaning, which entails scaling to remove plaque and tartar.
  • Other than scaling, root planing or debridement (deep cleaning under the gums to eliminate bacteria at the teeth root) is also performed.
  • Surgery for an infected tooth removal.

Closing Note

In a nutshell, you are not likely to contract gingivitis from kissing or sharing utensils since it is not contagious. But if you have saliva-to-saliva contact with someone who has, you are at increased risk of developing the condition yourself.

We care about your dental health and want you to have a beautiful smile. You can count on Dr. Audra Hiemstra with a dental degree from the University of Texas Dental Branch in Houston, Texas, to aid you with your troubles. She practices at Tomball Family Dental and works alongside her team with unwavering dedication to provide compassionate dental care. Dial (281) 516-1222 to schedule an appointment.

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