Is Gum Disease Contagious? Are You At Risk?

. Posted in Oral Health

Is Gum Disease contagious? Can you give it to your kids by sharing utensils?

Research has shown that periodontal disease is caused by the inflammatory reaction to bacteria under the gums, so periodontal disease technically may not be contagious. However, the bacteria that cause the inflammatory reaction can be spread through saliva. Periodontitis is not contagious. Research has found that the patient’s immune system plays a very important role in the onset of periodontal disease. Periodontitis can be linked, in many patients, to an immune deficiency in specific white blood cells. This deficiency may manifest its way as gum disease. Patients that have certain diseases, diabetes, for instance, are very susceptible to infections, thus more susceptible to gum disease.

Patients that are immunosuppressed, such as cancer patients that are undergoing chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or patients that have undergone organ transplantation, are exceptionally susceptible. Patients with certain viral infections, HIV being the best example in this category, are extremely prone to developing rapidly destructive types of gum disease.
Sources: “Howard Farran DDS, MBA”