Our mouths are home to many species of microscopic organisms. Most of them are harmless, some are even beneficial, but others can cause tooth decay and gum disease. The worst offenders are streptococcus mutans and porphyromonas gingivalis, also known as: bad bacteria.
This bad bacteria eats the leftover sugars and starches that stick to our teeth after we eat, and then it excretes enamel-eroding acid. This bacteria is also linked to advanced gum disease, or periodontitis.
Managing the Bad Bacteria
As bacteria reproduce quickly, a good oral hygiene routine is key for keeping the harmful bacteria populations under control. In a healthy, clean mouth, there might be anywhere from a thousand to a hundred thousand bacteria on each tooth, but a mouth that doesn’t get cleaned often can have as many as a hundred million to a billion bacteria per tooth. So don’t skip your twice-daily brushing and daily flossing!
What Does This Have To Do With Kissing?
On average, an individual will have anywhere from 34 and 72 different types of oral bacteria. Once we get a strain of bacteria in our mouths, it probably isn’t going away. The trouble with this is each person has different bacteria, so kissing or even sharing drinks with someone could introduce new strains of bacteria to our mouths.
Kissing Can Be More Dangerous for Children than Adults
Young children do not have the variety of oral bacteria as do adults and because of that their immune systems aren’t used to dealing with them. Too many kisses from mom and dad can leave your child more vulnerable to developing cavities.
The best way to avoid sharing your oral bacteria with your child is to keep those kisses limited to the cheek, do not share your eating utensils with them and make sure they always have their own drink instead of sharing yours with them.
Are Cavities Contagious?
Catch feelings, not cavities. As long as you are practicing good oral health and hygiene habits, you don’t need to worry about spreading dangerous, cavity-causing germs with your kisses. However, avoid doing things that could spread oral bacteria to small children. If you follow these tips and keep up with your regular dental appointments you can spread the love without worry!
If you have questions regarding you or your family's dental health or would like to schedule an appointment give us a call or request an appointment online. We are here for all your dental needs.