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Gum Diseases

Tooth Virus

07/11/2005

Question:

What is tooth virus and how can it be treated? Can it spread to other teeth?

Answer:

There is not any individual virus infecting only tooth structure. There are viruses living in oral flora, and these may become more pronounced when the immune system goes down.  For instance herpes virus is very commonly seen within and around the oral cavity.  But it is not specific for teeth. It can be seen in skin, eyes etc. 

Also, there is a group of researchers (Slots et al.) supporting the idea of viruses playing a co-factor role and helping specific bacterial pathogens to cause periodontal (gum) disease. 

And yes, if you have a virus infection in your oral cavity, you should not kiss anybody, especially infants. They may develop primary infection and those are painful and may affect the whole body (fever, etc.).

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Response by:

Binnaz   Leblebicioglu, DDS, MS, PhD Binnaz Leblebicioglu, DDS, MS, PhD
Associate Professor of Periodontology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University