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!

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How Sedation Helps You Avoid Fear Of Dental Treatments?

Do you count yourself to be among the ones who dreadfully suffer from a dental fear? If yes, then you must have heard as well as researched about sedation dentistry a lot. Basically, sedation is the technique used by your dentist to help you relax when you are occupying the chair in front of him. So, depending upon both the level of your anxiety and the procedure to be carried out, sedation can be administered to the patient in various levels…

In a gist, the various degrees of sedation ranges from minimal to deep sedation and even general anesthesia!

1. The Inhaled Sedation

The patient is made to inhale nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” combined with oxygen. The patient inhales both by wearing a mask. The amount to be taken in can be well monitored by your dentist and he adjusts the dose as required. This sedation wears off easily and the patient can walk back home all by himself after the procedure is done.

2. Oral Sedation

This involves taking a pill orally which though keeps you awake, but drowsy. These drugs normally belong to the valium So, it will simply make you sleepy! It is often combined with the laughing gas and applied to the patient.

3. Intravenous sedation

Sedatives are directly injected into the veins of the patient. This sedation is slightly deeper and the recipient needs some time after the dentist’s job is done, in order to recover from his/her state of trance.

4. General anesthesia

This method makes the patient completely unconscious. Complex dental procedures which usually take a longer duration calls for a general anesthesia only. Otherwise it is not a very common tool that is used by dentists in general.

What Did You Miss?

At Village Family Dental of Dallas, TX, Dr. Paul Hung administers sedation on patients to help them relieve from their anxiety and fear. You must also know that sedation dentistry demands expert hands only. So make sure to check with your dentist before you opt for one.

Dr. Paul Hung is one of the best Sedation Dentist in Dallas, TX

Apart from receiving 2017’s America’s Best Dentist Award, Dr. Paul has amassed his patients with quality dental care and is loved by his patients.

Dr. Paul does not settle for the minimum, he has averaged over 70 CE hours every year in pursuit to train and learn from the masters of dentistry from all over the country. You can rest assure that you are in the hands of an amazing clinician who knows what to do when. Dr. Paul has taken over 50 hours of sedation courses and is Level 2 licensed which means he can perform multiple types of oral sedation techniques. Of the dozens of sedation cases, Dr. Paul has had 100% success.

Ready to schedule an appointment or book a consultation? We are eager to meet you in person and take you through the treatment process as per your individual needs.

Dental Crowns Can Alter The Condition Of Your Weak Tooth

A tooth loses its original strength if it is affected in any way. Right from having an impact on your bite to a throbbing pain, a lot of discomforts could emerge if a tooth is damaged. However, dental crowns have been well received by several people for mending their affected tooth and bringing back its functionality. Talking about porcelain crowns, they look exactly like your original tooth and are also sustainable. Crowns work like dental caps, they camouflage the damaged part and repair the tooth.

We have spoken about the benefits of dental crowns below. Go through them to understand why they are advantageous.

Ø  A dental crown has all the abilities to restore a cracked tooth which has fine lines in it. Your tooth may become sensitive to anything extremely hot or cold if there is a crack in it. Getting it reinstated with a dental crown will help prevent further damages and protect the cusps from splitting.

 

Ø  You may experience a dental fracture if your tooth has a heavy amalgam filling while frequent replacement of fillings could lead to reduction of tooth structure. And your nerves may swell if the same tooth is treated repeatedly. Getting the affected tooth restored with a dental crown can prevent such problems.

 

Ø  A tooth which is treated with a root canal therapy could be prone to get fractured as it gets hollowed out during the procedure. Therefore, dentists suggest getting the tooth completely restored with a dental crown after a certain period of time. It safeguards the tooth from further damages.

 

Ø  A minimal invasive procedure is involved to fix a dental crown which means it is not a complicated treatment and you can easily get through it.

 

Ø  The appearance of your teeth can get affected if a tooth is chipped, broken or cracked. Reinstating it with a dental crown will enhance the aesthetic appearance of your teeth.

 

Ø  A dental crown can last for several years due to its durability, but at the same time, you also need to look after its maintenance by following a meticulous dental routine.

Just like dental crowns even bridges are known as effective prosthetic devices. Both crowns & bridges are cemented to your implants or existing teeth in order to restore your smile.

Do you want to get more insight into dental crowns? Then call Village Family Dental today at (214) 643-8146. You can visit us at our dental office at 4041 W Wheatland Rd #202 Dallas, TX 75237.