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Is Periodontal Disease Contagious?

Periodontal disease (gum disease) is caused by the inflammatory reaction to bacteria under the gums.  This means that, technically, periodontal disease may not be contagious.  However, the bacteria that cause periodontal disease can spread throughout the saliva.  If a spouse or other family member has periodontal disease, it is best to avoid contact with his/her saliva.  There should be no sharing of eating utensils or drinking after one another.  If your spouse has warning signs of periodontal disease, it is best that the see a periodontist for an evaluation. This may help to protect the oral health of the entire family. 

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