Can kissing my partner with bleeding gums spread gum disease?

4 min read

If you have chronic bad breath or have bleeding gums when you brush or floss it may be time to find out if you have gum disease.

Let’s admit it. You have shared a spoon with your child or drank from a friend's cup. Maybe you kissed a pet or brushed with a partner's toothbrush. Seems innocent . . . right? But, what if we looked at these innocent actions through a microscope, what do you think we might find? The answer . . . is a lot of bacteria. Studies have shown that a single kiss with your partner can send up to 80 million bacteria. Gross! So, have you ever wondered if you could catch gum disease from someone you know?

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a chronic pathological inflammatory condition.

It affects your gums, bone, connective tissue, and causes health problems within your body.  It starts out with irritated, bleeding gums caused by a bacterial infection. At this reversible stage, it is gingivitis. Untreated, It can progress into an irreversible condition and possible loss of your teeth. At this more severe stage, it is periodontitis. This condition is one of the most common we find that patients ignore or were mistreated.  

47% of adults 30 years old and older have some form of gum disease. The percentage increases with age too. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) also says 70% of adults 65 years and up have periodontal disease. The American Dental Hygiene Association (ADHA) reported that 80% of Americans have gum disease. The scary thought is that these statistics are only based on people who have had a dental screening. With statistics that high, it leads us back to our original question. Can you get periodontal disease from a partner or someone you know?

All fear aside, periodontal disease is not contagious. The human body's immune system protects you from bacteria and other germs. It takes time and lack of flossing or brushing daily for these bacteria to flourish. Did you know that plaque transmits through saliva? Do you share a toothbrush or kiss a person that does not take care of their oral health? If so, the presence of bad bacteria growth in their mouth will be high. With constant exposure, your immune system becomes stressed fighting off this invasion. Your mouth is a portal to the rest of your body. The health of your mouth plays a huge role in the health of your body.

Dr. Randi Green and Jyssica view periodontal disease as a serious condition that if left untreated can put your health at risk.

We perform a comprehensive periodontal exam at your new patient visit. Routine hygiene cleaning appointments can also determine the condition of your gums. Every person has a different medical history, genetics, upbringing, and stresses in life. Your story and the assessments that we gather allow us to figure out pieces of your puzzle. The primary goal for our dental hygienist, Jyssica, is to reverse or manage your disease. Like physical therapy, stretches and exercises aid in rehabilitation until conditions improve. We like to treat the mouth in a similar way during our laser periodontal therapy treatments.

We like Dr. Chrystle Cu's Gum Guide Illustration of the stages of gum disease. We also love their coconut and strawberry flavored floss. 
Think of the bacteria in your mouth like little ants. When one ant finds a sweet spot in your gums that you have ignored for days. . . maybe even weeks, it will call for other ants to come join the party of fun to create an ant hill. This “hill” is the biofilm. It has a similar matrix like the slime layer you clean out of your dog’s water bowl. The biofilm has damaging layers of negative bad bacteria. With time these bacteria calcify. Tartar then travels under the gums destroying bone which could result in tooth loss.

During therapy, the worst area of your mouth will get treated first. These appointments are 7-14 days apart and usually last one hour. This gives your body time to heal before starting the next therapy session. Like ants, the bacteria in your mouth will come back to rebuild another ant hill of infection. At the second appointment, the worst spot gets retreated and then we start on the second worst area. This chain effect continues until we treat all affected areas of your mouth.

Laser therapy has yielded many positive outcomes for our dental patients.

Using a laser to treat your gum disease is an advanced technique that not all hygienists own. Jyssica has completed extra education to gain laser certification. This helps her patients enjoy a modern, more advanced standard of dental care. Therapy without the use of the laser is not even comparable. The laser removes infected tissue and reduces bacterial loads even further than standard treatment. The laser also sends signals to other cells in the body that produce a faster healing rate. This helps to decrease post-op discomfort.  

After therapy, Jyssica schedules a 6-8 week follow up appointment. At this appointment, she can determine if we reached your goal. 90% of our patient’s outcomes are successful in treating their gum disease. If these results don’t meet your goals we can determine alternate solutions. During this appointment, we also forecast a balance point.

A balance point is the ideal time frame that is specific for you to avoid relapsing. At these maintenance appointments, prevention is the key to staying stable. It is like hair growth. Everyone has a different hair growth schedule. The same goes with your periodontal conditions. Everyone re-grows their biofilm and tartar unalike. Our goal is to keep your bleeding gums, bad breath, and other symptoms in a remission state the best we can.

Periodontal disease is relatable to fitness. You cannot expect instant results with just one workout at the gym and one day of eating well.

Using a laser to treat your bleeding gums and bad breath produces incredible results.

Some methods can treat in one day or half of the mouth in one visit and the other half the next. We live in a fast-paced world where time is a crunch and the idea of instant results is appealing. Yet, this is your health and your body we are talking about. Your gum disease took the time to develop and a quick fix does not always mean a good outcome.

Periodontal disease is relatable to fitness. You cannot expect instant results with just one workout at the gym and one day of eating well. Then wait three months and try another workout. Your health is a daily chore. Jyssica in that light is like a periodontal disease boot camp coach. She is going to work with you to reach your goal and guide you with proper home dental appliances for your care. She will also tell you where you can improve, how to best take care of your gums and health. Ask yourself, how do you want to take care of your health and dental condition?  Have you seen a dental professional recently? Is this important to your well being? When you are ready, our team is here to cheer you on your way to better dental health.

Take the next step toward premier 1-on-1 care with Dr. Randi Green. 

Request Appointment →