Are Cavities ‘Contagious’?
You may never have wondered, “are cavities contagious,” but the dentists at Westermeier Martin Dental care explain you can spread cavity-causing bacteria, especially to young children.
Tooth decay starts when bacteria in your mouth feeds on food debris and produces acid. The combination of food, acid, saliva and germs adheres to teeth and that substance is called plaque. Untreated, or not brushed and flossed away, plaque erodes tooth enamel and causes cavities.
Germs in your mouth spread from your mouth to the mouth of another through kissing, sharing food or utensils and other ways. This spreading of germs is what can make cavities “contagious.” A study in an Australian dental journal found that “30 percent of 3-month-olds, 60 percent of 6-month-olds, and nearly 80 percent of 2-year-olds were infected with cavity-causing Streptococcus mutans bacteria, a strain likely to cause cavities.”
How can you prevent “spreading” cavities?
Cavities certainly aren’t fatal, but if you can prevent them, that is the best way to assure good dental health. Your mouth is the gateway to your body and having a healthy mouth can help you be healthier overall. Call our office and schedule your dental examination today; you might have cavities and not even know it!