can cavities spreadCan cavities spread? No, we aren’t dentists, but we do know that oral healthcare is an important part of a person’s general well-being. In fact, healthypeople.gov states that good oral hygiene and oral health is tied to a person’s overall health. Taking care of your mouth, teeth, and gums can reduce the risk of serious disease. So to answer your question if cavities can spread, here’s some information that may surprise you.

So… Can Cavities Spread?

Your child went to the dentist last summer and they said she had three cavities. Being that they were on her baby teeth and they didn’t bother her, you didn’t bother to get them filled. A year later, even with regular brushing, she has eight cavities. You know your child has done a lot better job brushing and flossing, so you’re wondering where it all went wrong. Can cavities spread? Is this possible? While cavities aren’t contagious, the bacteria that causes tooth decay, known as mutans streptococcus, can spread.

Let’s just say that this bacteria loves sugar, so when it feasts on the sugar in your mouth, it creates an acid that erodes the enamel on your teeth. The acid can also build up and create plaque that also eats away at your teeth. This bacteria can also spread from person to person.

How Do You Keep the Bacteria From Spreading?

  • Monitor what you and your children eat.
  • Practice good oral hygiene, which might include brushing and flossing after every snack and meal.
  • Don’t share eating utensils or toothbrushes with others.
  • Do not put or hold your baby’s pacifiers in your mouth.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months per the American Dental Association.

Happy flossing, y’all!

Want more quick-reads dealing with interesting healthcare topics? Read Hospitality Health ER’s blog about what may be aging you quickly or 4 So-Called Healthy Foods that May Not Be So Healthy.