It’s a well-known fact that you can catch a lot of things from a simple kiss, such as a cold, or feelings for your fellow smoocher. But did you know that you may even catch a cavity from kissing? Before you pucker up under the mistletoe, your dentist in Sacramento has a few words of advice.
Before we can understand how kissing can cause cavities, we first need to know what causes cavities to begin with. Even though many people believe that sugar causes cavities, it’s actually the bacteria that feed on the sugars. Thousands of bacteria are naturally found in the mouth, and brushing and flossing help remove these bacteria. However, when they’re left alone they create acid. This acid then eats away at the protective tooth enamel, leading to decay. Now, these bacteria are living things and they can be transferred from one person to another, say… through kissing. So essentially, kissing swaps bacteria which can, in turn, cause cavities.
Kissing Isn’t The Only Culprit
Now that we know the passing of bacteria from person to person is what can increase the risk of cavities, your dentist in Sacramento wants you to know that kissing isn’t the only way this bacteria sharing occurs. In fact, sharing some common everyday things may also increase the risk of cavities, including:
- Utensils or straws
- Someone else’s toothbrush
There are even some reports of individuals who have never had a cavity suddenly getting some after beginning to date someone, and this level of sharing isn’t a very good way to show someone you care. Do your part and save some things for only yourself.
Kissably Fresh Breath Often Means Fewer Bacteria
We should probably note that not all kissers will develop cavities and it’s much more common in those partnerships where one or both people have higher amounts of bacteria in their mouth. Usually, but not always, this higher level of bacteria can also cause bad breath, so if your kissing partner has fresh breath, they may have lower levels of bacteria.
It’s Not All Bad
We’re not here to scare you away from smooching loved ones, and we actually have some good news about kissing. Kissing naturally increases saliva flow, and more saliva often means fewer bacteria. After all, saliva is the mouth’s way of rinsing away bacteria and neutralizing dangerous acids.
Before you pucker up under the mistletoe this holiday season, do yourself and your partner a favor and practice good hygiene habits by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day. Make sure you also gently scrub your tongue to remove even more bacteria. And as always, make sure to see your dentist in Sacramento at least twice a year for professional cleanings to keep your breath kissably fresh all year round.