Catching a cold or cough from your loved one seems possible, as it’s easy to imagine virulent germs being spread during a coughing or sneezing attack. But catching a cavity – can that really happen? During a smooch, it’s not just love and affection that’s being shared. Bacteria called Streptococcus Mutans and Sobrinus are also easily exchanged. Oral bacteria are present in every mouth, but some mouths have a higher quantity of unfriendly bacteria due to active dental diseases such as periodontitis and decay, and it is this bacteria that can be transmitted between individuals.
Controlling Oral Bacteria
Our previous blog highlighted the connection between oral bacteria and certain systemic illnesses, and the importance of keeping the mouth healthy in an attempt to enhance overall health. Controlling oral bacteria not only decreases inflammation throughout the body, it also reduces the risk of developing gum and bone disease and the formation of cavities. Dirty mouths are much like dirty hands; a great vessel for transmitting bacteria to others. When mouths are kept clean with daily brushing, flossing, and with the additional help of dental cleanings, oral bacteria are kept to healthy levels and are prevented from multiplying and destroying teeth and gums. A clean mouth also means more spontaneous kissing, without the risk of transferring harmful bacteria.
You May Want to Check Your Date’s Dental Health
If dentists had their way, apps and dating sites like Tinder would have a section just for dental health questions, because knowing when your date last had a cavity or got their teeth cleaned might make or break the match! Though you may be cavity free today, it wouldn’t take long for decay to be an issue if you are being regularly exposed to cavity forming bacteria via a new partner and start to slack-off on your home care. And it’s not just the newly dating who are at risk of catching a cavity. Infants are also prone to being exposed to certain bacteria via a parent tasting food first or biting into a piece of food prior to giving it to their child; all harmless acts in themselves, but nonetheless an opportunity for the spread of bacteria.
Reducing the risk of dental decay involves limiting the amount of oral bacteria present on tooth surfaces. Brushing at least twice a day and flossing once in a 24 hour period ensures that bacterial activity is interrupted, and plaque deposits are removed from teeth and gums. Though catching a cavity may be easier than we think, we can control the risk for decay by not neglecting our own dental health.