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Are Cavities Contagious?


Posted on 6/3/2024 by Riverwind Dental
Black woman smiling before dental appointment atRiverwind Dental in Richmond, VAHuman beings might think they are the cleanest species on the planet. However, humans are quite germy. Think about how many times you have gotten a virus from someone at work or how many times your kid brought home a cold or flu from school. Have you ever thought about whether or not the germs you carry around in your mouth might be transmissible? The answer might surprise you.

What Causes Cavities?


Bacteria can be beneficial and dangerous. You need bacteria in your mouth to help break down food for digestion in your body. However, if you have too much bacteria in your mouth, the acids present in the bacteria can cause holes in your tooth enamel. At first, the holes are tiny, but over time, if you do not get the cavity filled, the hole can grow deeper until it reaches the inner part of your tooth and causes a painful infection.

How Can a Cavity Be Contagious?


Because bacteria cause cavities, you can transfer those cavity-causing bacteria to other people in much the same way that you can transmit the flu, colds, and even COVID-19. If you kiss someone or share food and beverages, you can spread the bacteria. Young children can spread bacteria among each other when they chew on toys and share them.

What Can I Do to Avoid Spreading Cavities?


If you want to keep the spread of bacteria down, there are several things you can do to keep your bacteria to yourself. First, you can try eating a healthy diet full of fiber, such as celery and apples. These fiber-rich foods act as natural toothbrushes. They stimulate saliva production as well, which washes away bacteria.

People who brush and floss regularly help to keep the number of bacteria down. The less bacteria you have in your mouth, the less likely you are to have cavities and the less likely you are to pass your bacteria to other people.

Regular dental checkups can help us keep track of any problems you have in your mouth. Not sure when your last dental checkup was? Why not give us a call today to arrange an appointment?
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