Is Gum Disease Contagious? Is Gum Disease Contagious? Exploring the Facts  and Myths - Palms Dentistry

Understanding Gum disease’s nature, causes and how it spreads can help you maintain good oral health. This is a common question asked by many, whether gum disease is contagious or not. Thus, in this blog, we will learn and understand about Gum Disease, causes, risk factors and prevention tips.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is also called Periodontal disease. It is an infection that affects the tissues surrounding teeth, which keep them in place. Bad oral hygiene often leads to plaque buildup on teeth, a sticky film containing bacteria and gums.

There are two major stages of gum disease:


It is the primary stage where gums become red, and tender and starts bleeding easily due to inflammation caused by bacteria under the gum line or near tooth surfaces. The condition can be reversed with appropriate home care methods such as brushing twice daily using fluoride toothpaste and flossing once every day while seeing your dentist for professional cleaning frequently enough until symptoms disappear entirely.


This occurs when gingivitis progresses into further severity levels like periodontitis, where there’s destruction around supporting structures holding onto individual teeth – including bones – leading eventually even loss of some if not all affected teeth.

Causes and Risk Factors

The key cause of gum disease is bacterial plaque. However, here are some other causes:-

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Smoking or using tobacco products
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Diabetes
  • Hormonal changes (e.g., pregnancy, menopause)
  • Certain medications that reduce saliva flow
  • Poor nutrition

Is Gum Disease Contagious?

Gum disease is not directly contagious. However, it can spread from one person to another since the bacteria responsible for this infection are contagious. Mostly, transmission occurs through saliva droplets in the following ways:

Kissing: When you kiss someone, your mouth comes into contact, hence exchanging spit that could contain harmful germs from each other’s mouths.

Sharing Utensils: Using unclean spoons, forks or cups may expose one to different types of bacteria including those causing periodontal diseases thereby facilitating their transfer between individuals.

Parent-to-Child Transmission: A parent can infect their child with oral microbes either by sharing utensils or cleaning soothers with them after placing these items in their mouths first.

Prevention and Management

Avoiding gum disease means that you have to take care of yourself well and look after the risk factors. These are some methods:

Regular brushing and flossing: Brush no less than twice a day and floss daily. This helps remove plaque from where your toothbrush can’t reach.

Professional Cleanings: Routine check-ups with your dentist accompanied by professional cleaning may help in getting rid of plaque.

Healthy Diet: Eating balanced meals that contain essential vitamins plus minerals is good for general health including oral health.

Quit Tobacco Use: Avoid smoking cigarettes or other tobacco products because they pose higher risks of suffering from gum disease.

What to Do If You Suspect Gum Disease?

If you see any signs related to gum diseases like persistent bad breath, redness or swelling around gums, or gums that bleed easily, then it’s high time you visit a dentist immediately.

Professional Cleaning: Scaling & Root Planing (SRP) which involves removing plaque/tartar below the gum line through deep cleaning procedures followed by smoothing surfaces of the tooth root.

Medications: Antibiotic mouth rinses/gels applied directly into infected pockets located between teeth where they kill bacteria causing these infections thereby stopping their spread elsewhere within the body.


Gum disease itself is not contagious but its causative organisms can spread from one person to another. Therefore, good oral hygiene practices, regular visits to dentists and healthy living habits are the best ways of preventing gum diseases. If you are looking for a dentist in East Molesey today schedule an appointment with Smilessence for consulting.