Delving deeper into researching what goes on inside the mouth, scientists have discovered one thing that might not be as commonly known as um…tooth brushing for example. At Brightside Dental we aim to give all our clients the best advice and make sure we keep them informed. That’s why we decided to talk about how contagious dental cavities are.
There are many different ways for the harmful bacteria that causes teeth decay to spread. The main types of bacteria responsible are Streptococcus Mutans and Streptococcus Sobrinus and they can be transmitted from one person to another even through a kiss. Everyone says that the main reason for dental problems is consuming sugary foods or drinks. It is true, we should all consider reducing the amounts of sweets and sweetened drinks that we have but the main culprits are the above mentioned bacteria. The way they work is by multiplying in a sugar rich environment, food particles left in the mouth after a meal, and producing acid that digs into the tooth’s enamel. But the bacteria can travel easily from one person to another.
One of the most common situations that this happens is when the mother feeds the child. By testing the food for the right temperature and immediately feeding the little one the bacteria is automatically transmitted and the child is prone to develop cavities.
Dentists have also noticed a change in their patients’ oral health after they started a new relationship with a person who has cavities, gum disease or hasn’t seen a dentist for a number of years as the bacteria can be very easily passed on through a kiss.
Studies conducted in 2007 by the University of Queensland’s School of Dentistry in Australia have discovered that bacteria responsible for dental cavities was present in 30% of the mouths of 3 month-olds and in more than 80% of the mouths of 24 month-old children with baby teeth.
The best advice to avoid running into dental issues is to follow the advice of your dentist and make sure you brush your teeth properly twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for a minimum of 2 minutes. Make sure you do that especially before bedtime as during sleep the mouth produces less saliva and it creates optimum conditions for harmful bacteria to form.
Avoiding sugary foods and drinks as much as possible and rising with mouthwash after a meal, drinking plenty of water to help with removing foodstuff left in the mouth and flossing are also very beneficial.
The use of chewing gum, as we described in the previous blog, can have a positive impact on the overall health of our mouths, as well, because it promotes the production of saliva which flushes away plaque and bacteria.
In conclusion, dental cavity responsible bacteria can be transmitted and it is only in our power to avoid it as much as possible by following the advice given by our dental professional.
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