We all know that poor oral hygiene or increased intake of certain foods can make us susceptible to developing tooth decay, but believe it or not – so can bacteria spread between family members. Over the past few years, research has suggested that saliva passed from parent to child during kisses or sharing food allows oral bacteria to be passed on to the child and place them at risk to conditions which the parent has.
Active tooth decay in a parent can cause the decay bacteria to be passed on to the child, making them develop cavities in otherwise healthy teeth. This can be done by a parent sharing an eating utensil or using their own mouth to clean off a pacifier before putting it back into the mouth of their child. We’ve already known that decay can spread tooth to tooth, but now we know it can spread from parent to child.
The bacteria that causes gum disease can also be passed between loved ones. Having parents that suffered from gum disease and tooth loss may make children susceptible to future problems, because the bacteria now thrives in their own mouths.
To help prevent the spread of oral bacteria between family members and loved ones, it’s important to have your conditions treated as early as possible, and manage them through proper oral hygiene each day. By treating cavities while they are small, you can eliminate the infection from your mouth and prevent other teeth (or those of your child) from becoming infected. Professional treatments and dedicated home care can eliminate and reverse gum disease, helping everyone keep their smiles longer.
Posted on the behalf of Sarah Roberts
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