IT STARTED WITH A KISS: Are cavities contagious?
A connection starts with talking, so as a bond starts with sharing. But, are you aware that tooth decay can also be shared through kissing. It is an unknown fact to many, but tooth decay, also known as dental caries or cavities, do not only develop from poor oral hygiene but can also be passed on from one person to another. So, if sharing is caring for you, read and share this cavity-prevention material for everyone’s awareness about dental care.
What are cavities?
Cavities are holes in your teeth that are caused by tooth decay, as a result of bad bacteria forming in one’s teeth and producing acids that break down the tooth structure.
Cavities vs. Caries/Decay
These are compromised surfaces on the tooth that starts out as a dark patch or line.
Cavities are advanced stages of caries/decay wherein the bacteria has destroyed the affected surfaces of the teeth and has created holes in them.
How to know if you have cavities or tooth decay.
Tooth decay usually does not have any symptoms. One experiences sensitivity or pain when it is already in its advanced stage, where the tooth can no longer be restored with a simple tooth filling but may need a Root Canal Treatment or worse, Tooth Extraction.
To know if you have tooth decay, simply examine your teeth in the mirror and look for dark black lines or holes on the surfaces of your teeth. If you spot any of these, chances are that you have tooth decay.
Seeking professional assessment is actually better as, sometimes, cavities/caries are not only seen on the teeth surface but on X-rays. It is, therefore, best to have your teeth checked by dentists at MetroDental. With cutting-edge technology, Dental X-rays help spot cavities even before they get bigger.
What to do if you have cavities/tooth decay?
Brushing won’t simply make it go away, even if you’ve done it 10 times a day. The tooth surface with decay is already affected and needs to be removed by a dentist. Just like how a decayed part of a fruit is usually cut off, the same applies to a tooth.
Visit any MetroDental Clinic nationwide and have a dentist check on your affected tooth. If the decays are small, the dentist can simply repair or restore it with a permanent tooth filling or what is commonly known as “pasta”. However if the extent of the decay is quite large, other treatments may be recommended.
Facts you should know: The top 5 causes of cavities.
1. Sugary Foods & Drinks. If you’re a sucker for sodas, candies, chocolates or anything sweet, then chances are you might have a cavity or two. Sugar and artificial sweeteners are highly acidic foods, which is one of the reasons the consumption of sweets has recently been linked to so many health ailments and, most expecially, tooth decay.
2. Acid Reflux/GERD. Anything acidic compromises tooth structure. Heartburn or GERD causes an acidic environment in your mouth and can affect your teeth causing it to be very sensitive and prone to decay.
3. Dry mouth. Saliva in our mouths helps wash away food debris and reduce plaque and bad bacteria. As such, a dry mouth can lead to severe tooth decay.
4. Poor Oral Hygiene. When a person does not brush and floss frequently, food debris sticks on the teeth and forms plaque with bacteria that can cause tooth decay.
5. Not seeing a dentist in more than a year. Not getting routine dental cleaning.
So, going back to our question, does one get cavities from kissing?
Bacteria from cavities are typically passed through mouth-to-mouth contact when there is an exchange of saliva. Research backs this up, showing that oral bacteria is regularly transmitted between spouses.
So, now is the time for you to schedule that dental appointment soon, for you and your family, at MetroDental!