Every time you cough, sneeze or even share a drink or kiss with someone, you are at risk for salivary transmission. The exchange of periodontal pathogens between family members has now been proven. Vertical transmission from parents to children and horizontal transmission between spouses occurs in up to 75 % of cases. (Depending on the specific pathogen)
The presence of periodontal pathogens and disease can be an indicator of heart disease. Yes, you read correctly! Disease detected in your mouth by your dentist can be a sign of disease in your heart. Your mouth truly is the window into the rest of your body and many people find it hard to make the connection with bacteria, infection or disease in your mouth equally being sick.
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, people with periodontal disease are twice as likely to have coronary artery disease (heart disease). And one study found that the presence of common problems in the mouth, including gum disease (gingivitis), cavities and missing teeth, were as good as predicting heart disease as cholesterol levels.
So the next time you sneeze or cough, remember to cover your nose and/or mouth. You could literally be saving the lives of those around you.