Earlier this month, we had a patient come in who expressed a specific concern, considering it was close to Valentine’s Day. He asked, “My wife recently found out she has gum disease, and was told it’s infectious. Does that mean I can get infected when I kiss her?” While his question might sound silly to some, it’s an interesting topic. Can oral infections like periodontal disease spread to a partner through kissing? Join us at Perio NYC as we take a look at the possibility.
Is It Contagious Through Kissing?
Periodontal disease (gum disease) is a serious bacterial infection of the gums that produces redness, swelling, and tenderness, or in extreme cases, bleeding and even tooth loss. Depending on the severity of the infection, it can be possible to transfer bacteria by sharing eating utensils, toothbrushes, or dentures and retainers. But as for kissing, research has not confirmed that bacteria from gum disease can infect you when transferred through the act of kissing. In general, you transfer all sorts of bacteria during kissing, but it only puts you at risk for gum disease if you yourself have poor oral health and poor dental care habits.
For the questioning husband, in our opinion he has little to worry about if his wife just has some redness and tenderness in her gums. However, if she’s bleeding from her gums frequently or they’re extra sensitive, we would recommend that she pay us a visit for an evaluation.
Tips to Prevent Gum Disease
While kissing our loved ones is pleasing, the possibility of passing bacteria can leave some feeling hesitant about locking lips. But instead of avoiding your loved ones, take a look at some quick tips to stop periodontal disease in its tracks.
- Oral Care: Keep up with proper flossing, brushing, mouthwash and more. This will keep your teeth and gums clear of plaque and decay, two big causes of periodontal disease. Be sure to catch all the food particles stuck between your teeth.
- Keep an Eye Out for Warning Signs: In spite of your best efforts, sometimes gum disease can creep up on you due to other infections. Common symptoms to look out for include redness, discoloration, bleeding while flossing, sensitivity, gum recession (where your teeth appear longer) and more.
- Dental Cleanings: Regular visits for dental hygiene cleanings are just as important as at-home care. During these visits you can have stubborn plaque cleared away and get an evaluation on whether or not your need treatment intervention for extreme cases of periodontal disease.
Surgical and Non-Surgical Intervention
Here at Perio NYC, we understand that periodontal disease can have devastating effects on a patient’s oral health, if not treated properly. For patients who are suffering from the symptoms, we offer the following surgical and non-surgical procedures for periodontal disease:
- Scaling & Root Planing
- Antibiotic Therapy
- Periodontal Maintenance
- Pocket Depth Reduction
- Guided Tissue Regeneration
Don’t Be Afraid To Kiss Your Loved Ones!
Luckily for our patient, he has little to worry about when it comes to kissing his wife. But if you’re concerned about periodontal disease for your own health, talk to us here at Perio NYC in New York City to learn more about how our comprehensive treatments can improve your smile for the better.