Is Gingivitis Contagious? Let find out
Maintaining proper dental care can not be overemphasized. The mouth is filled with bacteria that forms a sticky substance known as plaque. You promote the growth of this bacteria when you don’t perform the most basic dental care; brushing, flossing and rinsing.
Continuous growth of the plaque will make it harden and forms a tartar or calculus bridge, which can then advance into a gum disease if left untreated. Gingivitis is a type of gum disease. Read on to find out if it is a contagious condition and how you can prevent it.
WHAT IS GINGIVITIS?
Gingivitis is a common periodontal bacterial infection that is characterized by inflammation of the gums from the build-up of a plaque. Plaque is composed mainly of bacteria created when sugar and starch in food interacts with the bacteria that lived normally in your mouth.
Plaque produces toxins that irritate the gums, causing them to become red, puffy and bleed. Inflammation of your gums allows pockets to develop. Bacteria settle into these pockets and cause gum infections. If left untreated serious complications can occur.
CAUSES OF GINGIVITIS
Plaque buildup is something that happens continuously in your mouth, but you can remove it by brushing at least twice a day, like dentists recommend. But when you have poor oral hygiene and the plaque is not removed regularly, it can build up and cause gingivitis.
SYMPTOMS OF GINGIVITIS
At early stage, you may not notice any symptom, so you may feel the symptoms before you can see the signs.The most common signs and symptoms of gingivitis are:- tender gums- redness of the gums- bad breath- swelling of the gums- difficulty in chewing- loose teeth- bleeding- receding gums between teeth- fever.
IS GINGIVITIS CONTAGIOUS?
The bacteria that causes gingivitis can spread through saliva-to-saliva contact. This means that a person can spread gingivitis through any activity that involves sharing saliva. You are much likely to get gingivitis if you kiss someone with poor oral hygiene who has gingivitis.
Babies are even more at risk of containing gingivitis due to their growing immune system. Should someone with gingivitis kids a baby on the lips, it is possible the baby will get infected.
Couples should avoid kissing if one of them has gingivitis, until the condition has been treated.
IS GINGIVITIS CONTAGIOUS FROM SHARING DRINKS?
Although it is less likely that you can get gingivitis from sharing drinks, it is better safe than sorry, because the bacteria that causes gingivitis can spread to the outside of a cup, bottle or straw you used. People with gingivitis should avoid sharing drinks, toothbrushes and used utensils like spoons, with family, friends or loved ones, until they have received proper treatment.
DANGERS OF GINGIVITIS
When you leave gingivitis unattended to, the bacteria which causes it travels through your blood stream to other parts of your body, like the cardiovascular or respiratory system. Certain other medical condition can be developed from untreated gingivitis. Conditions such as heart disease, stroke and osteoporosis.
The inflammation can also spread to your lymph nodes and eyes. If gingivitis is not treated on time and allowed to advance to a more severe gum disease, a surgery might be needed to treat it.
To avoid any of these possible life-threatening conditions, you have to watch out for the signs and symptoms of gingivitis and seek medical help immediately.
IS GINGIVITIS CONTAGIOUS?RISK FACTORS
You are more prone to have gingivitis if you are a:- Smoker- Old- Diabetic- If you are on certain medication such as antidepressant or antihistamine which can cause dry mouth.- If your immune system is weak.
Now that you have noticed the signs and symptoms of gingivitis, you will need to see a dentist to get treated. The most advanced treatment for gingivitis is with LANAP. LANAP is a dental laser surgery that works for inflamed gums.
The laser light used in LANAP kills the harmful bacteria that causes gingivitis and helps to rebuild a healthy gum line. Recovery time is much faster than other treatment plan.
Another treatment plan is Root Planning and Scaling. This type of treatment involved deep cleaning of your teeth. It stops the infection from spreading through your gums and disinfect them effectively.
This treatment is only effective when gingivitis has not developed to a more complicated gum disease.
Your dentist may further prescribe some painkillers and advise you to make certain lifestyle changes like to quit smoking, eat healthy and brush twice a day.
IS GINGIVITIS CONTAGIOUS? PREVENTION
Preventing gingivitis is an easy task. Here are a few steps you can take to prevent gingivitis:
1) Maintaining good oral hygiene by brushing twice a day (with a good herbal toothpaste), flossing, and visiting your dentist regularly.
2) Know your risks: Factors like smoking and malnutrition can make you prone to gingivitis. You should talk to your dentist about your concerns and stop using tobacco products and eat healthy.
3) Avoid Sugary Drinks: Since the bacteria that causes gingivitis grows from its interaction with sugar and starch, and sugary drinks coat your gums, creating an inviting environment for the bacteria to grow. Avoiding surgery drinks prevents the possibility of having gingivitis.
Gingivitis can be contagious, as the bacteria that causes it can be spread from saliva-to-saliva contact.
You should be aware of who you kiss, share a bottle or cup of drink with, or eating material with. Because when your mouth comes in contact with the saliva of someone with gingivitis, no matter the means of contact, you are likely to have the condition.
Prevention still remains better than cure. You should learn to develop good oral hygiene and prevent the use of tobacco. In a case where you notice the symptoms of gingivitis, seek medical help immediately, because if left unchecked, gingivitis could grow into a more severe complication.