Are Cavities Contagious?

Everyone knows you can catch a cold from someone who is spreading a virus, but did you know cavity-causing bacteria can also be spread from person to person?

Cavities are Caused by Bacteria

Sugar often takes the blame for causing cavities, but the true culprits behind tooth decay are bacteria. To be more accurate, bacteria feeds on the sugar in your mouth and creates an acid that eats away the hard enamel on your teeth, which leads to cavities.

There are two Streptococcus bacterial strains (mutans and sobrinus) that stick to our teeth and consume food particles left behind, which produce acids that threaten gum health and cause tooth decay.

Just like cold-causing bacteria, these streptococcus like to travel and spread to others.

How Bacteria Spreads From Person-to-Person

Whether sharing a beverage or giving a kiss to a loved one, cavity-causing bacteria is passed from person-to-person the same way many other bacterial infections are spread. In fact, “catching a cavity” is not only possible, it actually happens surprisingly regularly.

Among the most common transmissions is from parent to child. Cavity-causing bacteria is commonly passed along to a child when a parent tests food to ensure it’s not too hot, for example.

Take Simple Measures To Halt Bacteria’s Spread

Follow these guidelines to reduce your risk of transmitting streptococcal bacterias to someone else:

  • Brush and floss frequently.
  • Chew sugar-free gum to enhance saliva production and rinse away plaque and bacteria.
  • Be mindful of sharing cups and utensils with others.
  • Be conscious of other behaviors which can spread these bacteria.

Trust Island Family Dental For Solutions

Nobody wants to accidentally “catch a cavity.” Our dental practice is committed to providing you with the best information possible to help you create a healthy and cavity-free smile. If you have any questions about this, be sure to contact us…We would love to hear from you!

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