Kissing is one of the main ways that a contagious disease can be spread between two people. It results in the exchange of saliva and a lot of bacteria that can cause various diseases like the flu and the common cold, amongst others.
But can kissing put you at risk of gum disease if your partner has it? Is it contagious? Here’s everything you need to know about gum disease and kissing:
The bacteria that cause gum disease can be transmitted from person to person by kissing. They also can be transmitted by things like sharing a drink, a piece of food, or even an eating utensil. Even just a single kiss can exchange more than 80 million bacteria!
Of course, this includes both “good” and “bad” bacteria. Many of the bacteria living in our mouths are completely harmless. However, there are some “bad” bacteria that can attack your enamel and cause cavities.
Kissing someone who has a lot of these “bad” bacteria could cause you to have a higher risk of “catching” dental problems, particularly if this person has poor oral hygiene habits and a higher proportion of “bad” to “good” bacteria.
Don’t worry, there’s good news. While kissing can transmit “bad” bacteria to your mouth that contribute to gum disease, gum disease itself is not contagious. It’s not that kind of disease!
Most of these “bad” bacteria already live in your mouth. Even if some are transmitted to you through a kiss, it won’t matter very much. So, why don’t you have gum disease already if you have these “bad” bacteria in your mouth?
It’s probably because you maintain good oral hygiene habits! Brushing 2-3 times a day for 2 minutes and flossing between your teeth keeps your gums and teeth healthy and removes bacterial buildup.
Gum disease is not just caused by the transmission of these “bad” bacteria. To actually cause gum disease, these bacteria must be able to multiply and infect your gums freely. Every time you brush or floss, you remove most of them, and you prevent gum disease from happening!
As long as you brush and floss properly, your chances of “catching” gum disease from someone else are essentially zero, unless you are immunocompromised (have a weak immune system from a chronic immune disorder).
If you have more questions about gum disease, or you suspect that you may have gum disease, don’t wait. Dr. Wesley Wise is here to help. Come in for a consultation now, and Dr. Wise can check your oral health, clean your teeth, and help you understand if you need further periodontal care to control and eliminate your case of gum disease. To get started, just contact us at (708) 524-0330, or stop by our office at 137 N Oak Park Ave, Oak Park, IL 60301.