Can you catch a cavity?

Before you throw caution to the wind this Valentine's Day, here’s something you might not know... Tooth decay is contagious!

can you catch a cavity - number 18 dental notting hill

All over the world this February 14th, people will be celebrating feeling that little bit more amorous. But have you ever paid attention to your mate’s dental hygiene?

You might think it’s odd we ask, but perhaps it’s time you did. What a lot of people don’t know is that tooth decay is one of the most common oral infections!

We’re sorry to be the bearers of bad news, and we don’t want to put you off enjoying some romantic alone time with your loved one this Valentine’s Day. But it’s true that your own oral health might not just hinge on your diet and dental habits.

How can you catch a cavity?

Cavities are caused by the bacteria known as streptococcus mutans and streptococcus sobrinus and can be transferred from one mouth to another, much like a cold is passed on. We all have different levels of these bacteria in our mouths, which adhere to our teeth and feed on the food we have eaten.

Needless to say, they tend to be found in the mouths of those who consume more sugary foods. But still, transmitting cavity-causing bacteria in this way is a common problem found between parents and children.

Kiss goodbye to kissing?

So if your paramour is fond of guzzling down a can of soda before bed and not so much of whipping out the dental floss, should you be concerned?

Not necessarily. Edward Wilson, a dentist in New York, suggests that while bacteria can still be passed between mouths into adulthood, it’s far less of a problem than in childhood thanks to our built up immunity.

If the special person in your life is your little one, however, you might seriously want to reconsider sharing eating implements, drinks or cleaning dummies with your mouth.

Then again, if you’re one of the 24% of people who would share a toothbrush with their partner, it doesn’t hurt to tell them to get their own! And if it makes you feel any better, simply rinse with mouthwash after the odd pash sesh.

You could also encourage your significant other to attend couples’ dental check-ups or visits to the hygienist.

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