When it comes to kissing, it may be easy to tell if someone has bad breath, and you’d rather opt for a cheek kiss instead of locking lips. However, it’s not as easy to tell if someone has a cavity. But should you care if your smooching partner has cavities? Your dentist in Lake Oswego says you should.
The truth is, you can technically catch a cavity from someone else through kissing and even other ways. However, the problem isn’t necessarily the cavity itself but rather the bacteria that may have caused that cavity in the first place. You see, we all have millions of bacteria in our mouths and a few dozen different types. Some of these bacteria are good and can benefit oral health. Others, such as Streptococcus mutans and porphyromonas gingivalis, aren’t so good and are actually flat-out considered bad, cavity-causing bacteria.
If you take great care of your oral health and brush and floss regularly, you may not have bad bacteria in your mouth, or at least not much of it. However, when you kiss someone who does have those bad bacteria, they can easily be transferred to your mouth. While there is no way to kiss someone without swapping some saliva, there are numerous ways you and your partner can help protect each other from bad bacteria.
Prevention is Key
Besides brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day, there are various other things you can do to keep your mouth healthy
- Don’t share utensils
- Don’t allow anyone to use your toothbrush
- Drink plenty of water to keep your mouth hydrated — but don’t share straws
- Have regular checkups with your dentist in Lake Oswego
Other Ways Bacteria Can Be Transferred
As we briefly discussed above, kissing isn’t the only way bad bacteria can be transmitted from person to person. Even something as simple as sharing chapstick can also cause bacteria to swap between people. Other things include biting off of the same piece of food, drinking from the same cup, and using the same fork or spoon. Additionally, one of the most common ways mouth bacteria are spread is between parent and child.
Talk With Your Partner
If you or your partner have any concerns about catching or giving a cavity, we encourage you to talk to each other. Then, talk to your dentist in Lake Oswego. Discussions about oral health can be uncomfortable, so be sensitive and allow us to help.