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James Cooke
James is a practice principal at Shore Dental, Sydney. His calm, confident and sympathetic nature makes him a popular dentist…

Are Cavities Contagious?

June 3, 2014 by James Cooke

Are cavities contagious

Studies show that cavities tend to be passed on from parent to child.

So what do you think? Are Cavities Contagious?

We've looked at what cavities are and what cheese can do to alleviate the continuing threat of cavities, but are they contagious? According to the University of Louisville's School of Dentistry, they may just be. Parents with cavities can transmit caries-producing oral bacteria to their babies when they clean dummies by sticking them in their own mouths, or by sharing spoons.

According to the study, tooth decay can have a detrimental effect on a child's quality of life, performance in school and success in life. In addition to this, the condition can cause pain, an inability to chew food well, embarrassment about discoloured or damaged teeth and distraction from play and learning.

So what does this mean for parents with young children? While cleaning dummies and sharing spoons may be a habit that's hard to kick, the frequency of which this occurs in should be reduced. You should also ensure that oral hygiene is maintained at a high level for both yourself and your child. Looking after a child's oral health is very different to an adult's – if you need brushing up on your child's oral health, check out our guide for babies and toddlers here: Oral Hygiene for Sydney's Babies and Toddlers . Ensure that you visit your local dentist on a regular basis, too, to pick up on any issues before they become major problems.