Are Cavities Contagious? Can You Catch A Cavity Like A Flu?

You can definitely catch a flu. But,

Can you ever catch a cavity?

Yes!

Children are most prone to catching cavities, primarily from the babysitter or from the mother. Additionally, adults, mainly couples are also prone to catching cavities.

So, in this post we will learn about:

  1. The main culprit – “Streptococcus mutans” responsible for the spreading of cavities
  2. How these bacteria spread from a person to another?
  3. Study on the “Factors influencing oral colonization of mutans streptococci among children
  4. How to prevent the transferring of bacteria from an adult to a child?
  5. As a parent what you must know?
  6. Preventive measures for adults to avoid the spreading of cavities and gum diseases
  7. How can a dentist help?

Contagious Tooth Cavities: The Real Culprits Are Bacteria, Called Streptococcus mutans

Research shows, bacteria that cause cavities can transmit from a person to another. Sugar, candies, and sweets are usually blamed for rotten teeth, but the real culprits are bacteria, called Streptococcus mutans, which are contagious. Just the way a cold virus can pass on from a person to another, cavity-causing bacteria can also move from one to another. They feed on food particles left in your mouth, and the acid they produce eats away teeth. The bacteria/bugs travel easily from person to person.

How It Spreads From A Person To Another?

These bacteria can spread from mouth to mouth via shared food and utensils, sneezing, kissing, and more. Studies has also shown many patients, who have clean, healthy mouths, discover a couple of cavities after entering into a relationship with a partner who has cavities, gum disease or hasn’t been to the dentist in many years.

Food For Thought: As an adult, you’re less susceptible to bacteria spread than children because they haven’t built up immunity yet.

Research On The Spreading Of Streptococcus mutans

A 2007 study found that cavity-causing bacteria was found in the mouths of 30% of 3-month-old babies, 60 percent of 6-month-olds, and more than 80% of 24-month-olds with primary teeth. Most common way bacteria is transferred to infants and children is mom putting the pacifier in their mouth when they want to “clean” it and then put it in their child’s mouth. Another very common way is by tasting the food themselves to make sure it’s not hot before feeding their child, or using the same spoon that mom ate from. This could also be the babysitter or any other person that is taking care of your baby.

Read More: Key factors involved in oral colonization of the cariogenic group of bacteria, mutans streptococci (MS)

How To Prevent Transferring Bacteria From Adult To Child

  1. No sharing food or utensils.
  2. Do not kiss your baby/child on the lips if you have cavities.
  3. Clean your baby’s gums with a wet gauze.
  4. Avoid giving kids sugary juices, especially at bed time.
  5. Teach your kids that there is no kissing on the play ground.
  6. Once they have teeth, use a small baby toothbrush to brush their teeth.
  7. If there is not a way to wash the pacifier, don’t use your mouth to do so.
  8. Teach your child that there is no sharing food or utensils with other kids.

As A Parent, What You Must Know?

The Use Of Power toothbrushes

Until children are about the age of eight they don’t have the manual dexterity to brush all of the plaque off by themselves.

The Use Of Sealants

Prevent four out of five cavities in children under the age of 15. Sealants are clear resin protective coatings for the chewing surfaces of your children’s teeth. Dentists usually start applying sealant as the permanent teeth start coming in but in especially cavity-prone kids, dentists are beginning to apply sealants to the children’s primary (baby) teeth to stop the chain of dental disease even earlier.

Must Follow Oral Care Practices For Parents:
  1. You need to brush and floss regularly.
  2. You need to keep your regular check up and cleanings every 6 months.
  3. Make your children aware about the importance of flossing and brushing.

Tips in preventing spread of cavity and gum infection in an adult:

  1. Chew sugar-free gum between meals.
  2. Good home care: brushing and flossing.
  3. Go to your dentist for regular check up and cleanings.
  4. Make sure your partner does not have cavities or gum disease.

How can your dentist help?

First, your dentist can make sure your mouth is free of decay and infection. After that, there are a couple of preventive measures listed below that are especially effective against these bacteria:

The use of antimicrobial rinses

A prescription rinse like Chlorhexidine can permanently disrupt the cell membrane of these bacteria reducing the levels of bacteria in your mouth thus preventing its transmission to your child or partner.

Fluoride application

Every 6 months your dentist can apply fluoride on your teeth for protection.

Using sealants

Usually applied on the chewing surfaces of permanent molars. Also, if there are cavities, a dentist might go for administering dental sealants to check further ailments.

Xylitol

Xylitol is a non-cavity causing sugar substitute found in some chewing gums that makes it almost impossible for Strep mutans to adhere and cause trouble.

Additional Info on Xylitol

Xylitol may be safely used in foods for special dietary uses, provided the amount used is not greater than that required to produce its intended effect.

Approved under: Code of Federal Regulations Title 21

Xylitol-US-Approval-by-Department-of-Health-and-Human-Services

CITE – 21CFR172.395

Finally,

Paying a visit to your dentist can help you understand and know the reason behind catching a cavity or a gum disease. Since cases can differ from individual to individual, a consultation can greatly help you to get started and grab an overview of the treatment process and its costs. If you are in need of immediate help, feel free to call us today!

Did this post help you find what you were looking for? Let us know in the comments. Share this post with your social peers, family, and friends and keep following this space as we keep posting helpful info on dentistry, dental care and oral hygiene on a periodic basis.

What Are The Perks Of Early Visit To A Pediatric Dentist?

Is there anyone who is not fond of candies or colas? Well, the simple answer is no! Everyone loves eating their favorite candy and colas. Children are no exception. But the sad part is, children are not aware of the adverse effects of consuming such substances. A very recent study conducted by the American Dental Association has revealed the fact that the percentage of children suffering from dental caries and cavities in the United States has increased by leaps and bounds.

The report further revealed the fact that tooth decay and dental caries are more common in children when compared to asthma and hayfever. However, the good news is that this dental condition is treatable and can easily be avoided by early visits to a pediatric dentist. So be a responsible parent, and make sure to take your kid to an experienced pediatric dentist without wasting any time.

The main reasons why you should take your child to a pediatric dentist at a young age –

Preventive Dental Care

Both tooth decay and dental caries are a common dental disorder in children. And if cavities and other dental tissues are left untreated, they could lead to speech impairment, intense pain, periodontitis, and infection in the long-run. Thus, the sooner you take your child to a dentist, the better will be their oral health.

Helps Build A Better Relationship With The Dentist

If you take your child to a kid’s dentist at a young age, your child will become friendly and comfortable with the dentist, as well as, the entire dental team. According to a study, children are not fond of authoritative figures. Rather, they like people who care for them and behave in a friendly way. Thus, you should make sure to take your kid to a dentist who understands your child well.

Professional Tips On Oral Health

Maintaining your child’s oral health is of paramount importance. A periodic visit to an experienced kid’s dentist can definitely help your child lead a happy and trouble-free life. Besides making you aware of the potential diseases, you would also gain valuable information on brushing, flossing, and eating. To put it simply, your child’s oral health will remain under the professional evaluation throughout the year.

Early Orthodontic Treatment

If you want your child’s oral health to remain at its peak, then don’t forget to schedule an extensive orthodontic treatment at the age of 7. It helps the dentists to identify the skeletal deformations and the causes of crooked teeth. Though many parents wait until their kids reach their teenage period, an early orthodontic treatment is always the best option for enjoying a healthy dental health.

An early visit to a pediatric dentist is, therefore, a necessity if you want your child to lead a happy and contented childhood. At Village Family Dental, under the guidance of Dr Paul Hang, we boast of a highly-skilled pediatric dental team. They have been continuously helping kids all over Dallas, TX to overcome all sorts of dental disorders. Our primary goal is to make sure that the overall oral health of your child is always at its best.

So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with our dental team today!

5 Measures Every Parent Must Implement To Keep Their Child’s Teeth Healthy

Children do not have the ability to understand the importance of everything, but they might start having an idea about it if someone is there to teach them what is right and wrong. Likewise, every parent must educate their child about how important it is to maintain an oral hygiene. Having a healthy set of teeth right from childhood can restrict the occurrence of several oral problems.

Kids Dental Care

As a parent, it is your responsibility to look after your child’s oral health, therefore, incorporating good dental habits in them is also your duty.

Make Sure They are Brushing and Flossing Properly

This is the basic rule of maintaining dental hygiene and you must make your child understand the same. Children seldom throw tantrums when it comes to brushing and flossing, but make it a fun activity for them rather than a task. You and your little one can even brush and floss together to add some excitement to it.

Make Them Swish With Therapeutic Mouthwash

You may feel that cosmetic mouthwashes leave behind a fresh breath, but that might not be enough for your little one. A child needs a mouthwash that would prevent their mouth from oral diseases and a therapeutic mouthwash will certainly fit the bill. Therefore, don’t forget to consider a mouthwash that is therapeutic for your child. But, also remember a child should not rinse with a mouthwash if the little one has not yet reached the age of six.

The Amount of Toothpaste Must Be Appropriate

Give a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to your little one because sometimes children don’t spit out the entire toothpaste after brushing. And swallowing it could be quite harmful for them. Also, choose a fluoride toothpaste for your child as it kills bacteria and prevents tooth decay.

Eating Healthy is Essential

Children love getting indulged in sugar, but, eating an excessive amount of sugary foods will not do any good to their mouth. Therefore, make them cut down on their intake of sugar or else their teeth can start getting affected with cavities.

Take Your Kid to the Dentist Every Six Months

A child must mandatorily see a dentist twice a year to prevent dental issues. This way, the emergence of an oral problem can be detected before it gets too late.

Bring your child to us today if the little one is going through major dental problems. We will look after it in order to cure the problem. Call us at (214) 643-8146.

Don’t Let Your Child’s Dental Routine Get Disrupted, Make Them Eat Right

Every parent wants the best for their children, thus, you might not want to witness your little one suffer from dental pain. Looking after the mouth is certainly important but, along with that, eating right plays an important role too. Children love gorging on chocolates but, feeding them an excessive amount of sugary food items can cause major dental problems.

Nutrients and natural minerals can do wonders for your child’s teeth. You can always consult your little one’s pediatric dentist to get an idea about the foods that help build stronger teeth.

Take a look at these healthy food items which can improve your child’s dental health.

Foods Rich in Vitamin C

A good amount of vitamin C intake can prevent gum disease. It helps your body repair cells by producing collagen. Oranges are a great source of vitamin C and are great for kids. A deficiency in vitamin C can lead to swollen or bleeding gums. However, make sure your child rinses after eating a fruit rich in vitamin C as it contains acid.

A Lot of Greens

Spinach does promote oral health and feeding your child a lot of greens can be highly advantageous for them. Spinach is rich in iron and also a powerful antioxidant. The leafy vegetable is high in calcium which help build strong tooth enamel. Spinach also contains folic acid and has several health benefits. A delectable bowl of spinach soup will not only taste good but can also give your child’s dental and general health a boost.

Dairy Products

Dairy products such as yogurt, cheese and milk escalates the pH level in the mouth and reduces the level of acids. Milk products are rich in calcium which is extremely beneficial for the teeth. Some children love the taste of milk while some don’t, you can always prepare healthy milkshakes for them to enhance the taste. Your little ones might enjoy having it.

Broccoli

Broccoli is a great source of natural minerals and is known for whitening your teeth naturally. It breaks apart the plaque build-up near your gum area and the iron content creates an acid resistant barrier which protects the tooth enamel. An adequate amount of boiled broccoli might be great for your child’s oral health.

Eating right has always helped and you have to be extremely cautious regarding your child’s diet if you don’t want them to go through dental problems. Call us at (214) 643-8146 to know what else can you do to look after their dental health.