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Are Cavities Contagious?

Published on: 2 March, 2020

Cavities are a big cause of concern. They are unfortunately becoming more and more common due to the amount of sugar, soft drink and sweet foods people are eating nowadays. If you want to find out why people are getting cavities, check our blog post titled ´11 Reasons To Why You Are Suddenly Getting Cavities´.

Now, you may not know that sugar is not the only cause of cavities. So are cavities contagious? Read on to investigate…

Cavities are actually caused by a certain bacteria. The name of this bacteria is mutans streptococcus. It can be spread around through saliva. So in this way, technically yes it is contagious.

But that doesn’t mean sugar is not causing cavities. In fact, mutans streptococcus and sugar work together to create cavities in our mouths. The bacteria sucks up all the traces of sugar in our mouths and transforms it into acid that damages our teeth. The hard enamel of our teeth is severely affected by this, causing those nasty cavities. So your mom wasn’t entirely wrong when she told you to stop drinking soft drink or you’d need a filling!

As mentioned, this bacteria is contagious. The way it spreads is through our saliva. This means it can be caught by sharing drinks or food with someone who has the bacteria. This means that children are most often at risk because they will often share food and drinks with their parents or friends.

Children aren’t the only ones at risk though. Unfortunately for adults, if your partner has it, you’re likely to get it too. This is because the bacteria can also be spread through kissing.

Ways to prevent getting the mutans streptococcus bacteria:

  • Avoid sharing food. This may seem obvious, but many of us do it. With our partner, with friends, with family members. Stop! 
  • Avoid sharing drinks – this is the same as above, and an obvious way of sharing saliva.
  • Brush your teeth. Brush and floss regularly to avoid the spread of bacteria in your mouth. This is an important part of a healthy routine.

If you’re worried about getting cavities, follow the above steps of not sharing food or drink and brushing your teeth regularly. Also, search ‘dentist near me’ to make an appointment with a nearby dentist for a check-up.