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Can Kissing Lead to Cavities?

Wednesday - 02.13.2019

WE HOPE ALL OF our patients are excited for Valentine’s Day! We also hope the topic we’re about to discuss won’t spoil the romantic mood, but we want to share with you what kissing does to oral bacteria.

The Bacteria In Our Mouths

Our mouths are home to many species of microscopic organisms. Most of them are harmless, and some are even beneficial, but some cause tooth decay and gum disease. The worst offenders are streptococcus mutans and porphyromonas gingivalis.

Streptococcus mutans eats the leftover sugars and starches that stick to our teeth after we eat, and then it excretes enamel-eroding acid. Porphyromonas gingivalis is strongly linked to advanced gum disease, or periodontitis.

Managing Our Oral 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 surface, 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!

You May be Wondering What This Has 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.

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This is more dangerous for children than adults. Young children don’t 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, don’t share your eating utensils with them and make sure they always have their own drink instead of sharing yours with them.


 

Catch Feelings, Not Cavities

As long as you’re taking good care of your oral health and hygiene, 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’ll be free to enjoy the feelings of Valentine’s Day!

If you have questions regarding you or your families dental health or would like to schedule an appointment give us a call and we'd be happy to help! If scheduling a time online works better for you please click here

With love,

Your Gentech Dentist

Topics: dental questions, Cavities, dental hygiene, Kissing and Cavities

This blog is designed to provide general information and discussions about health and dental-related subjects. No doctor/dentist to patient relationship is established by your use of this blog or website. We are not providing any treatment or diagnosis on this blog, and it is not intended to offer specific dental or medical advice to anyone. The information or other content provided in this blog is not a substitute for professional dental expertise or treatment. We will do our best to provide you with information that will help you make your own healthcare decisions, however no guarantees or warranties are made regarding any of the information contained within this blog. If you have questions about any of the information presented on this blog, you should consult with your dentist. The dentists at Gentech Dentist are licensed to practice in the states of Oregon and Washington and this blog is not intended to solicit patients from other states. External links may be provided on this blog as a service and convenience to our patients and other visitors to our blog. These external sites are created and maintained by other public and private organizations, and we do not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance or timeliness of any outside information.