Questions About Gum Disease Transmission
The Treatment of Gum Disease
The Periodontists
Gum Recession
Dental Implants
Gummy Smiles
Gum Disease and
Heart Disease
Gum Disease and
Premature Births
Gum Disease and Diabetes
Transmissability of
Gum Disease
Bad Breath and Gum Disease
Gum Disease and Smoking
The Gum Disease Transmission Project

The transmission of oral bacteria from one person to another via kissing is readily conceivable. The overwhelming number of bacteria and the readily-apparent saliva exchange during kissing allows for the conclusion that bacterial transmission is a reality. The question that begs to be answered is: "Is it significant?" In most instances the oral transmission of bacteria is not significant. However it is an important consideration when patients have a low resistance to gum disease (periodontitis).

It has been shown that children are more likely to have aggressive gum disease bacteria if their parents also harbor these type of bacteria such as Actinobacillus Actinomycetemcomitans and Porphyromonas gingivalis (references #1, #2 and #3). In a study of 20 married couples, the spouses of the monitored patients who had gum disease had worse gum disease than those people whose spouses (in the study) who didn't have gum disease (reference #4). An additional study showed that spouses of patients with gum disease had significantly more deep gum disease "pockets" than the spouses of monitored patients who had no gum disease (reference #5).
1. Gronoos L, et al. Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans in young children and their mothers.J. Dent. Res. 1995,74(Special Issue): 587.
2. Saarella M, et al. Clonal diversity of Actinobacillus actinomyctemcomitans, Porphyromanas gingivalis and P. intermedia. nigrescens in two families. Anaerobe 1996,2:19-27.
3. Asikainen S, et al. Likelihood of transmitting Actinobacillus actinomycetemconitans and Porphyomanas gingivalis in families with periodontitis. Oral Microbial Immunol 1996;11:387-394.
4. von-Troil-Linden B, et al. Periodontal findings in spouses- a clinical, radiographic and microbiological study. J Clin Periodontal 1995;22:93-99.
5. Saarela M, et al. Transmission of oral bacterial species between spouses. Oral Microbial Immunol 1993;8:349-354.

Regarding the transmission of gum disease bacteria via kissing, it is of significance in these groups:
A. Children who have parents with severe periodontitis and where a reduced genetic disease resistance is suspected in the parents.
B. Adults who may have a low resistance to periodontitis but have had limited exposure to aggressive gum disease bacteria.
C. Adults who had aggressive periodontitis and were successfully treated, but who have spouses who have untreated gum disease.
A. Children who have one or both parents with aggressive/severe gum disease should be observed closely by their general dentist for signs of periodontitis. The children and their parents should be advised that the children should be closely monitored for gum disease as they become adults.
B. Adults with a family history of aggressive/severe gum disease should be monitored closely. The same is true if the adults can recall that their parents wore dentures at an early age. The spouses of these adults should also be closely evaluated for gum disease.
This website,
will further address:
1.Questions and Answers about Gum Disease Transmission
2.The Treatment of Gum Disease
    A. The signs
    B. The causes
    C. The risk factors
    D. The treatments
3.The Periodontists

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