True or False: Cavities are Contagious?

TRUE (kinda).1,2

While we usually blame sugary foods as the main culprits for cavities, it’s actually bacteria that are the root cause. These bacteria form a sticky film on teeth, called plaque. These bacteria feed off of food particles left in your teeth, with a special gusto for sugary foods. When these bacteria consume sugar, they create an acid, which in turn harms teeth and causes cavities. Like the bacteria that cause the common cold, these bacteria can be passed from person to person, specifically through the exchange of saliva containing cavity-causing bacteria. And just in case you’re thinking it, yes kissing has been linked to the spread of cavities.

“Kissing between couples can also cause the spread of harmful bacteria. Smigel has seen many patients, particularly women, who have clean, healthy mouths, discover a cavity or two after entering into a relationship with a man who has cavities, gum disease or hasn’t been to the dentist in several years.”2 Continue reading