We all know it’s possible to catch a cold from someone who’s under the weather. But did you know that cavity-causing bacteria is contagious and can be passed from person-to-person too?
Bacteria Is At The Root Of Cavities
While sugary treats often take the blame for causing cavities, the real culprit for tooth decay is bacteria. Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus are bacteria which stick to our teeth and eat food particles left behind from our last meal, producing acids which threaten gum health and cause tooth decay. And just like cold-causing bacteria, this bacteria like’s to travel.
Bacteria Is Contagious And Travels From Person-to-Person
Whether it’s through sharing a drink or kissing a loved one, cavity-causing bacteria can be passed from person-to-person the same way many other bacterial infections can. Studies have shown that “catching a cavity” is not only possible, it happens far more often than you might think.
One of the most common transmissions is from parent and child. Cavity-causing bacteria is commonly passed along to a child when a mother or father tastes food to ensure it’s not too hot or when he or she “cleans” a pacifier by sucking on it before handing it over.
Take Simple Steps To Stop The Spread of Contagious Bacteria:
What can you do to reduce your risk of transmitting cavity-causing bacteria to someone else?
- Floss and brush frequently.
- Chew sugar-free gum—this promotes saliva production and washes away plaque and bacteria).
- Visit your dentist every 6 months for cleanings.
- Use alcohol-free mouth rinse.
- Be mindful of drinks and eating utensils you’re sharing and the risks that are involved.
- Be aware of other behaviours which could spread bacteria.
Nobody wants to inadvertently “catch a cavity.” If you’d more information about cavity-causing bacteria, CLICK HERE to schedule your appointment with Dr. Jennifer Thomm.