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Is Gingivitis Contagious?

June 20, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — legacytrailsdental @ 7:09 pm

Model of mouth with bacterial infectionDid you know that at least half of adults over the age of 35 have a form of gum disease? Not only is it a leading cause of tooth loss, but researchers have connected it to various serious health issues, including an increased risk of heart attacks and Alzheimer’s. Gingivitis is the first stage of the infection, which is easy to treat when caught early. Red, swollen, and bleeding gums aren’t anything to ignore. Not only can the bacterial infection harm your overall wellness, but researchers have found that it can be spread through saliva. Here’s what you need to know to protect your loved ones. 

What Causes Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is caused by poor oral hygiene. Plaque and tartar buildup harbor bacteria that inflame the gums. Without treatment, gingivitis can turn into advanced periodontitis, which can destroy the supporting structures of your teeth. Bacteria from the infection may also enter your bloodstream through the pressure of regular chewing, affecting your health negatively. 

Gingivitis Can Be Spread to Others

New research suggests that bacteria from gingivitis can be spread through saliva, like kissing or sharing food utensils. Although inflammation may not be visible, bacteria can still be transmitted. However, it’s very unlikely you will be at risk of the infection or spread it to others through kissing or sharing a toothbrush. If you have poor oral health, you may be more susceptible to the infection.

How to Keep Your Gums Healthy

Although gum disease is common, it is almost always preventable with good oral hygiene. Commit to brushing your teeth at least twice daily using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Floss your teeth every day to remove plaque and food residue your toothbrush can’t reach. Finish your oral hygiene routine with an antimicrobial mouthwash. Eat a variety of nutritious foods, limiting sugars and starches. It’s best to stop smoking and moderate your alcohol consumption. 

Commit to visiting your dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and checkup. They’ll monitor your gum health to detect any changes early. Your dentist can stop the infection in its tracks. If you notice changes to your gum health between your regular appointments, don’t wait to contact your dentist. They’ll create an individualized plan to keep your mouth and body healthy. 

About Dr. Tatyana Romanoff

Dr. Romanoff achieved her dental degree from the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine and has continued her training to focus on laser dentistry and dental implants. She uses the latest technologies to combat gum disease. Request an appointment through her website or call her office at (469) 208-6017.

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