We all know that you can get cavities from sugary foods and poor oral hygiene. But can you also get cavities from other people? Many patients wonder- are cavities contagious? And if so, how can I protect my teeth? Read on to get the facts on cavities.
What Are Cavities?
Firstly, it’s important to know what cavities actually are. While teeth are very strong, they are not indestructible. Over time, bacteria can cause tooth decay which breaks down enamel, the strong outer layer of the teeth. If this bacteria is not properly removed, it will form a small hole called a cavity. Cavities must be cleaned and filled to prevent the decay from causing more damage. If left untreated, patients can face a number of health problems.
What Causes Cavities?
As we mentioned, cavities are caused by bacteria. This bacteria can be caused by many things- age, diet, oral hygiene, and even genetic factors like mouth dryness are all common culprits. Professional tooth cleanings also remove bacteria, so skipping dentist appointments can also increase the risk of cavities.
Are Cavities Contagious?
The bacteria that cause cavities can also be transmitted via saliva, which means that cavities can indeed be contagious. This bacteria spreads when people kiss, share food, or when young children put objects in their mouths. Luckily though, good oral hygiene can decrease the risk of spreading germs, while also protecting each person’s individual mouth.
The best way to prevent cavities is to practice good oral care. Brush your teeth twice daily, floss every day, and try to limit sugary foods and drinks. It’s also important to visit the dentist twice per year. This way, your dentist can catch new cavities and treat them in their early stages. Your dental hygienist will also professionally clean your teeth, which offers even more cavity protection.
Is It Time for a Dental Checkup?
Don’t wait until there’s a problem to visit the dentist. The Smile Artisans offer quick and convenient dental exams in Cypress, TX. We’ll check your teeth, give you a deep clean, and also help you stay healthy. Click here to book your visit.