Can you Spread Germs that Cause Cavities?
We all know what germs are and how they spread. From colds to stomach bugs, germs that cause these illnesses are contagious and can spread to others unknowingly. But did you know that tooth decay is one of the most common diseases? It affects most adults at some point in their life and causes children to miss countless hours of school each year due to cavities or dental pain from tooth decay. Not to mention the parents that have to take time off from work to drive their kids to the dentist for treatment. The good news is that cavities are preventable. But, can you spread germs that cause cavities? We’ll answer that question on the blog today
What causes cavities?
Harmful oral bacteria live inside everyone’s mouths. Foods we eat, specifically processed foods like chips or crackers, and sugar fuel the bacteria that secrete acids. Their acidic by-product is what forms plaque on your teeth. Plaque is that dingy-looking buildup that gets stuck between your teeth. It’s soft and can be scraped off with your toothbrush or by flossing. Usually, brushing twice a day and flossing daily is enough to reduce plaque buildup. However, left long enough, plaque hardens into tartar. Tartar buildup is darker, usually yellow in color, and cannot be removed with at-home oral hygiene habits.
Tartar can only be removed by a professional dental cleaning. And for most patients, twice-yearly cleanings are enough to maintain good oral health and reduce the threat of cavities and gum disease as long as you also take exceptional care of your teeth and gums at home every day. Now that you know the cause of cavities let’s explore whether the germs that cause tooth decay are contagious.
Are cavities contagious?
Not exactly. If you kiss someone that has active tooth decay (whether they know it or not), it doesn’t mean you’ll develop one too. But it does increase your risk of tooth decay over time. Since cavities are caused by harmful bacteria, you can actually spread that bacteria when kissing or eating, or drinking after someone that has gum disease or active tooth decay. What this means is that if your partner doesn’t take good care of their teeth and gums, but you do, you may still be at risk of developing cavities and gum disease.
How can I protect my oral health?
No matter what, take good care of your oral health by brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and receiving dental cleanings twice a year. But if your partner isn’t on the same page as you with their oral health habits, it could derail your efforts. You may want to encourage your partner to take good care of their oral health because it affects more than just them. It impacts yours, too!
Family Dentist in Louisville
Maintaining your oral health can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. But it doesn’t have to be if you commit to taking care of your teeth and encourage your partner to do the same. To learn more about maintaining a healthy smile, contact Exceptional Dentistry by calling (502) 423-7868 or visit our website to schedule a consultation today.
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