Is periodontitis contagious?

calendario 24-Mar-2017
Dra. Libertad Caro
Specialist in Periodontology and Dental Implantology

Periodontitis, also called pyorrhea, is one of the infectious mouth diseases. This painless gum infection is caused by bacteria that resides in the mouth destroying over time gum and bone surrounded by teeth, causing mobility and dental loss.

The most common signs of periodontitis are bleeding gums followed by inflammation, gum retraction, bad breath and with advanced cases mobility and dental loss. There are many patients who suffer, although they are unaware because it does not hurt and signs are not always visible. Therefore it is advisable to go frequently to a gum specialist to detect or prevent the development of mouth infections.

Many patients wonder if periodontitis is contagious. According to scientific studies, 30% of couples have the same type of periodontitis bacteria, so is it contagious? To answer this question, it is important to clarify some points:

  • The fact that a couple transmits this bacteria does not guarantee that the person who “gets the bacteria” develops the disease. In order for periodontitis to start, it is crucial for the person to have a genetic predisposition to the disease, otherwise, even if they have been “infected” the disease will not develop.
  • Periodontitis is a widespread disease present in those over 30. Epidemiological studies from Spanish society show that 60-70% of the population has some form of periodontitis.

Therefore, the answer to the question of if pyorrhea is contagious is quite relative.

In addition to periodontitis, some patients still wonder if gingivitis is contagious. It is the disease that precedes periodontitis, which produces gum inflammation, but does not destroy the bone. It is also an infection caused by bacteria that shares the same principles of periodontitis contagion.

Once we have a disease detected in a patient it is important to know how to cure the gum infection. Treating gum infections in most cases is simple and consists of painless deep cleansing performed by specialists who carefully remove all bacterial deposits under the gums. From our blog we do not advise the use of antibiotics for gum infection when it is not combined with a mechanical disinfection therapy performed by professionals.