Is Gingivitis Contagious?

Is Gingivitis contagious? The short answer is no. The longer answer is maybe, on very very rare occasions. To better answer the question "is gingivitis contagious", let's look at the different types and implications of this, intitial stage of gum disease.

Pregnanacy Gingivitis

This situation is triggered by the high levels of pregnancy hormones circulating in the female's body. The hormones can trigger inflammation of the gum tissues that is made worse with the presence of plaque and tartar on the teeth.

Medication Induced Gingivitis

This variety of gum inflammation is largely a side effect of certain medications. One example of such a medication is Dilantin, a common seizure mitigating drug. The gum swelling and bleeding in this case can also be made more severe by bacteria in plaque. The side effects with this gingivitis varies greatly often becoming quite considerable.

Mouth Breathers

People with chronic sinus or nasal problems are often prevented from breathing through their noses during sleep. Because of these difficulties, they are forced to breath through their mouths during the sleeping process. This "mouth breathing" causes constant air to flow across gum tissues creating chronic irritation and inflammation.

Type 1 Periodontitis

This is your "Garden Variety" gingivitis. It is the most common type of gingivitis represented by inflammed, bleeding gum tissue due to the presence of plaque and bacteria. It is totally reversible with a quality dental cleaning and good home care.

Is gingivitis contagious? A study performed by North American scientists found that bacteria common to gingivitis can be transmitted between partners while kissing. Although the bacteria may be transferred between mouths, it generally does not result in gingivitis being transmitted to individuals with normal functioning healthy immune systems.

Our final answer:

Gingivitis is not likely to be contagious in healthy individuals but may transmitted in immunocompromised individuals. Maintaining regular dental checkups and cleanings is still the way to manage and even reverse this disease process.