The second most common disease in the United States is tooth decay. The first is the common cold. Of course we all know that we can catch a cold by kissing, but cavities? Sounds pretty far fetched. But guess what everyone at my dental office in Spokane knows? Catching a cavity by kissing is totally possible — technically.
While you may not be able to catch the actual cavity, you can definitely exchange bacteria with the person you are kissing. If your kissing partner has neglected his or her oral hygiene, they definitely have a plaque buildup… and that plaque, a sticky, slimy substance, is made up mostly of the germs that cause tooth decay.
The Trouble with Germs
Germs like to spread. And kissing is not the only way these germs get around. Every time you “swap spit” with someone, you also swap bacteria and viruses, including the ones that cause gum disease and tooth decay. Some other common ways bacteria is transferred from one person to another include:
- Sharing a spoon, fork, or straw
- Biting off the same food
- Borrowing a used toothbrush that wasn’t used by you (Ew!!)
Show your Love – Get a Cleaning
Children and people with compromised immune systems are especially susceptible to infection and cavities from bad oral bacteria. But even if you never kiss a kid, you can show your consideration for the people you share anything with, by keeping your teeth and gums clean and free of bacteria. That means both keeping up with your personal, at-home hygiene, and also keeping your regularly scheduled cleanings here with your Spokane dentist.
If you know that your sweetie is not quite a neatie when it comes to oral hygiene, we’d be happy to see him or her too! It’s a great way to give both of you a safer, healthier kissing, sharing, smiling experience. Don’t take the chance on sharing more than just a few sweet kisses this Valentine’s season. Schedule an appointment at my Spokane dental office today.