Yes, in fact, both tooth decay and periodontal disease are bacterial infections and are highly contagious. In fact, the American Academy of Periodontology urges that if one member of the family has periodontal disease, the entire family be evaluated for the disease. When one member is infected, the family becomes like a pod of infection simply because of the intimate nature of living under one roof. Family members share food, drink, and yes, kisses. And we want them to continue to do so, but in order to do it safely, we want to make sure everyone is doing their part to get healthy and remain healthy.
“Babies are born without the bacteria that cause cavities and gum (periodontal) disease,” says Lisa Marie Samaha D.D.S., “Parents or caregivers, (usually moms), are the first to infect their children early in life. But before baby is conceived, there is the kiss. Yes, periodontal disease, in particular, is truly a “kissing disease.”
A scary thought, I know, but timely, especially as springtime rolls around and romance is in the air. Be sure you are certified kissable and as importantly, make sure the one you are kissing is, also!