Lesser-Known Facts About Tooth Decay

March 8, 2024

Did you know that about a quarter of kids, half of teenagers, and 90% of adults in the United States experience tooth decay that lead to cavities? Most people know the basics about tooth decay, such as the importance of regular brushing and flossing. However, many lesser-known facts are worth exploring.  

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What You May Not Know About Tooth Decay

It’s Contagious

The bacteria responsible for tooth decay, such as Steptococcus mutans, can be found in an infected person’s saliva. can be found in an infected person’s saliva. When that person kisses another person or shares utensils or food with others, they can pass on the bacteria to them.  

Tooth decay’s contagious nature emphasizes the importance of good oral hygiene practices and taking steps to prevent the spread of bacteria by avoiding sharing food and drinks and practicing proper hand hygiene. Besides ensuring early tooth decay detection and treatment, regular dental visits can reduce the risk of transmission to others.  

It’s More Common in Children

Tooth decay is more common in children than asthma and hay fever. Since a child’s tooth enamel is thinner and less mineralized than adult teeth, they’re more susceptible to damage from the acid-producing bacteria in the mouth.  

Moreover, children are more likely to consume sugary, acidic, and starchy foods, providing an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive and cause tooth decay. Most kids also have difficulty maintaining regular brushing, excellent oral hygiene practices, or receiving routine dental care, leading to plaque buildup and decay formation.

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