While gingivitis is generally a common and mild type of gum disease, it’s still something we don’t want to see in any of our patients. If someone in your family has gingivitis, you might be wondering, “is gingivitis contagious?” Keep reading as we answer this question and share the common signs and symptoms to look out for in children with gingivitis.
Is gingivitis (gum disease) contagious?
The American Dental Association considers gingivitis to be a contagious condition. If you come into contact with someone’s saliva that has the bacteria present, this could spread to your gums. While other activities such as sharing a glass could technically spread the bacteria too, the chances of this happening are reasonably slim.
Can you get gingivitis (gum disease) from kissing?
As far as kissing, wait until a partner or anyone you might come into close contact with receives treatment to avoid spreading gingivitis between you. This is a common worry for parents with teenagers. The chances of this happening are quite slim, but it’s best to avoid kissing anyone with this condition until it clears up so that the bacteria doesn’t enter your mouth.
What is gingivitis?
Now that you know that gingivitis is contagious, it’s important to understand what this condition is. Gingivitis is a common but mild type of gum disease. It causes redness, irritation, and swelling around the gingiva, which is the part of your gum located at the bottom of your teeth. While this condition starts off mildly, you’ll want to make sure you get it treated immediately to avoid further complications. Keep an eye out for the common signs of gingivitis, and speak to your dentist if you have any further questions.
Signs and Symptoms of Gingivitis
There are many signs and symptoms of gingivitis to look out for. You might need to take a closer look at your child’s mouth if they are complaining about any irritation, as these signs might not be noticeable from a distance. Swollen or puffy gums are a common sign of gum disease, and they may turn a dusky or dark red color. If your child complains of bleeding when brushing or flossing, this is a concerning sign which indicates potential gingivitis.
Another less common symptom of gingivitis is bad breath. No child or teenager wants to walk around with foul-smelling breath, so this is something you want to get checked out by a dentist. Also, receding or tender gums are a sign of gingivitis. By maintaining good oral hygiene routines and brushing your teeth twice a day, you can prevent this condition in the first place and keep your mouth in top condition.
If you notice any of these signs and symptoms of gingivitis, we recommend booking an appointment with our team straight away. When gingivitis isn’t treated quickly, it can lead to periodontitis, which has worse symptoms and could lead to long-term issues for your child’s health.
How to Treat Gingivitis
The good news is that help is at hand when it comes to treating gingivitis. The quicker you find treatment for the condition, the more likely you or your child’s mouth will return to optimum health. Professional dental cleaning is often recommended for gingivitis, which will help to remove traces of bacteria, plaque, or tartar. Scaling your teeth and removing bacteria from beneath your gums will help the gum disease from progressing further.
While this is less likely to be an issue with younger children, older children and adults may need dental restoration treatment. Misaligned teeth and crowns which weren’t fitted properly can make gingivitis more of a concern. Regardless of what treatment you receive, we’ll suggest the best solutions for ongoing care. After a professional cleaning treatment, you’ll need to keep up good oral hygiene routines to ensure that it doesn’t return in the future. On top of that, we recommend booking regular check-ups with our team, who can keep an eye on your child’s cleaning.
As you can see, treating gingivitis is not as big of a challenge as you might expect. However, you’ll need to make sure you book to see our team as quickly as possible before further treatment will be needed. We know it can be concerning for parents to hear their child has gingivitis, but we’ll be here to support you and get their mouth back to perfect health as soon as possible.
Keep Your Family’s Teeth Healthy with the Help of AC Pediatric Dentistry
Going to the dentist can be scary — we get it. But it should be fun! Whether it’s care for baby teeth, big kid teeth, oral surgery, or orthodontics, our team of specialized pediatric dentists make the experience memorable while teaching you how to encourage healthy habits and good hygiene for lifelong smiles. Call us today or request an appointment online. We can’t wait to meet you!