When examining the oral-systemic link between periodontal disease and total health, it is important to identify how gum disease begins in the first place. Poor dental hygiene, sugary foods, and smoking are all well-known culprits, but did you know that the oral bacteria that causes tooth decay, which may lead to gum disease, is contagious?
Numerous studies have found that children are at a higher risk of cavities and gum disease if one or both parents carries the bacteria responsible for these dental issues. Kissing, sharing utensils, or even blowing on food can transfer bacteria-rich saliva. Before you reach for the oral antiseptic before any kiss, it’s important to note that the majority of bacteria that exists in most people’s mouths is not harmful.
The main bacterium that can be spread from person to person via saliva include Streptococus Mutans, Actinobacillus Actinomycetemcomitans, and Porphyromonas Gingivalis, which will only be present in those with active tooth decay or infection.
Taking Preventative Measures
Contagious oral bacteria is just one of many factors that can contribute to tooth decay. It is important to be cautious, but while saliva transfer may not be entirely avoidable, taking preventative measures is the best defense against harmful bacteria. Thorough hygiene, a healthy diet, and regular dental checkups and cleanings can significantly reduce the risk of cavities and decay due to another’s contagious oral bacteria.
At Charlotte Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, we offer a new Oral Bacteria DNA Test to evaluate the existing bacteria in a patient’s mouth in order to create a comprehensive treatment plan to eliminate the harmful germs that may lead to serious gum or dental issues.
Contact a Leading Dentist in Charlotte Today
To ensure that your teeth are properly cleaned and maintained, it is important to schedule regular dental visits. Preventative care will help keep your mouth healthy and looking great. Contact Dr. Broome at (704) 310-5268 today to schedule your consultation!