Ask a Dentist

Can Cavities Be Contagious?

A woman on a dentist's chair while the dentist examines her mouth with a small mirror

Have you had a cavity or are you one of the lucky few who has never gotten one?  Cavities are one of the most prevalent tooth issues in the world. But did you know that cavities can be transmitted from one person to another? That’s right, cavities are contagious. Let’s get into it!

What Is a Tooth Cavity?

A tooth cavity represents permanent damage to your tooth's hard surface, resulting in a small hole or leakage. This damage stems from tooth decay, which is caused by an accumulation of harmful bacteria. Depending on the extent of the damage, a dentist might suggest treatments like fillings or root canals. Cavities often occur due to inadequate oral hygiene, such as neglecting regular brushing and consuming excessive sugars and starches.

Bacteria Travels From Person-to-Person

Cavity-causing bacteria can be transmitted between people, similar to other bacterial infections. This can happen through common activities like sharing drinks or kissing. Surprisingly, it's quite common to "catch a cavity" in this manner. A typical example is the transmission from parent to child. Parents often pass on these bacteria to their children while checking the temperature of food or by cleaning a pacifier with their mouth before giving it to the child.  

Implement Easy Measures to Prevent Bacterial Transmission:

So, how can you minimize the chance of passing on cavity-causing bacteria?

  • Regularly floss and brush your teeth.
  • Chew sugar-free gum (in moderation) to stimulate saliva flow, helping to cleanse away plaque and bacteria.
  • Exercise caution when sharing drinks and utensils, considering the potential risks.
  • Stay conscious of other actions that could spread these bacteria.

No one intends to unknowingly contract a cavity. At Dental Image Therapy, we're dedicated to offering top-notch advice and solutions for a strong, healthy smile. If you're curious or have concerns, don't hesitate to ask us – discussing your oral health is something we enjoy!  

Worried about your teeth? Haven’t come in for a check-up and cleaning since last year? Book an appointment at either of our Winnipeg locations in Garden City or St. Vital.

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Maybe it's time for your and your family's regular checkup and cleaning, you have a toothache or you need to get your treatment plan going - whatever the reason, we're here to help you get your confident smile. Whether you're a new patient or a returning friend, we can't wait to see you at your next appointment at either of our Winnipeg clinics!

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