Periodontitis is an infectious disease

Periodontitis-associated bacteria can be spread by a patient to other people. In order to avoid infection or reinfection, it is therefore also important to bear in mind the various routes of infection.

A kissing couple

Periodontitis is triggered by a specific group of aggressive bacteria and is considered to be the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. Numerous scientific studies show that periodontitis is an infectious disease and is therefore also contagious. People who are close to each other in particular, such as partners, siblings, parents and their children, therefore represent a risk to each other. Even a shared spoon, drinking bottle or a kiss can lead to the spread of periodontal marker bacteria.

The consequences

A patient with existing periodontitis represents a source of infection and may spark a vicious circle if other family members become pathogen carriers. Even if they may not yet exhibit any clinical symptoms, relatives are at increased risk of developing periodontitis themselves. But this also has far-reaching consequences for the patient him-/herself. The constant cycle of reinfection within the home can greatly reduce the success of treatment or hinder it completely – despite optimum dental therapy.

Partner therapy rather than a ban on kissing

Kissing can lead to continuous reinfection of the periodontitis patient by his/her partner, for example. A sustained reduction in the numbers of bacteria and therefore a long-term response to treatment is therefore only achievable if both partners are treated at the same time. This should break the cycle of infection. Partners also benefit from treatment, since periodontal damage can be avoided at an early stage.

Prompt detection of pathogenic bacteria in children

Children of patients should also be tested at an early stage in order to minimize their risk of periodontitis. If pathogenic bacteria are detected, for example, children should also be included in a preventive care recall system without delay in order to prevent the development of periodontitis in the long term.