Cosmetic Dentist in San Jose Explains Contagious Cavities

Colds, flus, mononucleosis, and chickenpox are contagious. But did you know you can catch a cavity as well? Cavities aren’t caused only by sugary foods. Tooth decay results when bacteria in your mouth feed on food debris and produce acid. The mixture of food, acid, and germs clings to teeth, erodes tooth enamel, and causes cavities to form.

Cavities can’t take shape without bacteria. These germs can pass from mouth to mouth through sneezing, kissing, or sharing drinks and utensils. A study in the Australian Dental Journal named tooth decay as one of the most common infectious oral diseases. The study was conducted on small children and researchers believe that mothers pass germs to their children. Adults are less susceptible to pass the bacteria to each other because they have stronger immune systems.

Researchers provide the following tips to prevent spreading cavities in the family:

  • Dental visits: Family members should visit the dentist every six months for a thorough cleaning and checkup.
  • Mouth rinse: Your dentist can prescribe a mouth rinse to help ward off decay.
  • Chew gum: You should encourage your children to chew sugar-free gums with xylitol between meals for at least five minutes.
  • Don’t share: Parents should not share utensils or drinks with children.
  • Avoid fancy water: Encourage your children to drink tap water for its fluoride content, which attracts tooth-strengthening minerals.

I’m Dr. Randy LaFrom, and I recommend teaching proper oral care to your children. You and your children should brush twice daily, floss once a day, rinse between meals, and keep your six-month dental visits. If it is time for your semi-annual appointment, call our San Jose dental office at (408)996-8595. You can share your love with your children, not your cavities!

~ by cupertinodentist on June 1, 2011.

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