A 1997 report in the Journal of the American Dental Association states
that periodontal (gum) disease may be passed from parents to children and between
couples.This report agrees with other recent findings that support the association between
periodontal disease and family members.
Bacteria that causes periodontal disease can pass though saliva. This means that the
common contact of saliva in families puts children and couples at risk for contracting the
periodontal disease through the transmission of bacteria from another family member.
Based on this research, we advise that all members in a family where one member has
periodontal disease, be screened by a qualified dental provider for this disease. Early
detection can prevent tooth loss.