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Can Cavities Be Contagious?

Posted on 11/25/2015 by Janie Bell
A woman about to chew a piece of sugarless gum to prevent cavities.Most of us know that you can catch a cold from someone who is feeling sick, but is it possible to also catch a cavity? While a cavity itself can't be transmitted, the bacteria that can result in decay certainly can be.

Bacteria Cause Cavities

Do you know what exactly causes cavities? Many people will say eating too much sugar, and while sugar tends to take the blame for cavities, it is actually bacteria that are the real culprit. When bacteria stick to the teeth and aren't removed with proper brushing and flossing, they are allowed to create acids that can cause decay and may threaten the health of your gums.

Unfortunately, it is entirely possible for these bacteria to transfer from person to person. Whether you are kissing a spouse or sharing a drink with a friend, the bacteria can jump from one person's mouth to yours. Transmissions from parent to child are especially common, as moms and dads typically taste foods to check the temperature before then feeding their child using the same fork or spoon.

Stop the Spread of Bacteria

So, what exactly can you do to stop the spread of cavity-causing bacteria? Be sure to brush and floss your teeth frequently, so if these bacteria are transmitted to your mouth, you can remove them quickly from your teeth. Be aware of the utensils and drinks that you are using and the risks associated with sharing them with others.

You should also get into the habit of chewing sugar-free gum between meals, as this practice can stimulate the production of saliva, which is beneficial in keeping bacteria and plaque off of the teeth.

If you do feel that you may have developed a cavity, it is important to get the issue checked out right away. Please contact our office to set up an appointment.
D. Ian Bell, D.D.S.
Advanced Aesthetic, Restorative & Family Dentistry
Bellevue-Redmond Professional Center

15613 Bel-Red Rd, Suite A
Bellevue, WA 98008-2348
(425) 883-8333
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