Have you recently found out that you have periodontal disease? In that case, you’re not alone. Many people develop this condition due to several reasons. While it is true that various causes are leading to the development of this disease, there are also a lot of misconceptions. Perhaps one of the most common beliefs today is that gum infection can spread from one person to another. So, is periodontal disease contagious? Can you treat your periodontal disease naturally? Continue reading to learn more.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
In simple terms, infections affecting the structures surrounding the teeth are called periodontal diseases. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a chronic inflammatory illness that affects the gums. Without proper dental care, bacteria that build up in the oral cavity will eventually develop as plaque. Plaque is a sticky film that accumulates on the teeth shortly after brushing. If further left untreated, it will become permanent and may result in tooth loss.
In an attempt to get rid of harmful microorganisms, our immune system produces protective chemicals. As a result, it destroys the gums and periodontal ligament. Eventually, it will lead to inflamed, swollen, and bleeding gums. This symptom is a clear sign of gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Problems will continue to spread across your gums, bones, and connective tissue.
What Are the Signs of Gum Disease?
How would you know if you have periodontal or gum disease? Below is a list of the most common symptoms that could indicate that you have one.
- Chronic halitosis
- Gums that are irritated or inflamed
- Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
- Toothaches that are painful or discomfort while chewing
- Presence of pus between the gums and the teeth
- Teeth become too loose
Do you think you may have gum disease? Or perhaps you are starting to develop gingivitis. When bleeding gums is your significant concern, your condition may still be in its reversible stage. So, if you have bleeding gums or any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your dentist. Discuss what steps you can take to prevent it from progressing to irreparable gum disease.
Is Periodontal Disease Contagious?
We hate to break it to you, but according to research, gum disease is not contagious. However, some evidence suggests that certain levels of exposure may play a part in acquiring the infection. This situation is particularly true, especially for those with poor oral health. People without a solid dental care routine tend to be more vulnerable, which encourages the development of gum disease.
How Does Periodontal Disease Spread?
Periodontitis is a form of gum disease in which the infection-causing bacteria travels through the saliva. According to researchers, DNA coding techniques allow tracking an infection’s journey from one person to the next. Therefore, close contact, such as kissing, has a part in the spread of the condition. So, if you’re with someone who has periodontal disease, your chances of developing gum disease are somewhat higher. Moreover, sneezing, coughing, and sharing food and utensils have all been known to cause disease transmission in family settings.
Nonetheless, exchanging bacteria with family and friends still does not guarantee that you will develop periodontal disease. It’s crucial to remember that research into the spread of periodontal disease is still underway.
Which Age Group Is Prone to Gum Disease?
There are pieces of evidence that claim how oral bacteria is only transmissible beyond a particular age group. During puberty, hormones will develop and allow bacteria to thrive and spread in your mouth. This growth produces an environment conducive to disease transmission.
Therefore, sharing utensils with children will be fine. However, it is still essential to maintain oral health practices in mind. The habits we form as children will persist over into adolescence and last until adulthood.
How to Control Spread of Periodontal Disease?
Now that you know how gum infection can spread, what else can you do to keep yourself and your loved ones away from it? Well, the answer is as simple as two words, and that is dental care.
Maintaining good oral health through diligent dental care practices plays a significant role in fighting the spread of harmful bacteria. Therefore, highlighting the significance of oral health to everyone in the family is an important step to take.
Additionally, taking regular visits to the dentist at least twice a year will help too. Dental care professionals can detect early signs of gum disease and provide treatment plans to maintain the health of your gums and teeth.
Wrapping it Up
While experts claim that gum disease is not contagious, it is still communicable at some point. Close contact, such as sharing utensils and food, might have significant consequences. Gum disease often happens due to poor dental hygiene and the spread of bacteria because of weak oral health. Your immune system may struggle to fight the condition if you continually expose yourself to the bacteria.
However, you should also know that periodontitis is curable. With the proper guidance of a dental professional, every patient who develops gum disease can be treatable. Once your dentist has established your condition, the next and most crucial step is rehabilitation.