Are Cavities Contagious?
Amid the pandemic of COVID-19, cavities are probably the least of things you can think of as contagious.
However, did you know that cavities can also spread similar to the way you catch a cold. In this article, we will share with you how cavities can spread from person to person, as well as how you can protect your loved ones from getting them.
What are cavities?
Cavities, also known as carries, are the outcome of tooth decay due to the acids released by the bacteria. Once acids are able to break down the enamel, the next target is the dentin, this is where the blood vessels are found. Bacteria only needs sugar and/or acids for larger cavities to form and destroy the structure of your tooth.
How and when do cavities spread?
Cavities can actually spread through saliva. When there is an exchange of saliva, cavity-causing bacteria can be transferred from person to person. This means that you may acquire a cavity through any of the following instances:
Dentists remind us that sharing is a good thing, except for when it comes to toothbrushes. Disease-causing bacteria that is found in plaque and blood can accumulate on your toothbrush without you noticing. When you use a family members toothbrush, you’re welcoming/inviting a new set of disease-causing bacteria to enter your body.
Storing Multiple Toothbrushes Together
Even if you wash your toothbrush several times a day, it can still hold disease-causing bacteria. When you place toothbrush heads close to one another, you are indirectly transferring germs and bacteria to your loved ones.
Most dental professionals advise toothbrushes to be stored apart and upright without a covering so they can dry. You should also replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months to make sure that any accumulated bacteria gets tossed in the trash.
Did you know kissing can cause tooth decay? As unappealing as it sounds, kissing exchanges saliva wherein the bacteria can freely migrate from one person’s mouth to another. There is a higher probability of acquiring cavities if your partners oral hygiene is poor or if they have early stages of tooth decay.
Babies are at a higher risk of exchanging of bacteria through saliva since their immune systems are underdeveloped. The University of Louisville conducted a study, according to this study – mothers with dental cavities can most likely spread the bacteria to their kids through sharing utensils such as spoons or forks, as well as kissing.
Sharing Utensils (Forks, Spoons, and Cups)
Sharing a beverage was once considered as an indirect kiss. Sharing of utensils such as spoons, forks, and cups can spread cavity-causing bacteria from person to person. Saliva that is left on these utensils causes the transport of the bacteria from one mouth to the other. Researchers found that due to sharing utensils – almost 80% of two-year-old children were infected with the cavity-causing bacteria from their parents or guardians.
Fix your Dental Cavities NOW Before it Spreads to Your Loved Ones
Protect your family members and children from acquiring cavities from you by maintaining good oral hygiene. You can begin to prevent cavities at anytime by mastering the habit of:
- Brushing at least twice a day and flossing
- Regular cleanings with your dentist
- Chewing sugar-free gum to help flush away bacteria
- Taking a dental exam yearly to keep your teeth and gums in check
Don’t let tooth decay spoil your way of expressing love to the people who matter to you. East Orlando Dental provides comprehensive restorative dental options in the Eastern Orlando Florida area. Schedule an appointment now, and let us help you fight cavities and stop them from spreading.