Health InformationIs Tooth Decay Contagious?

22 Nov 2021
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It has been confirmed that tooth decay is a disease that can be transmitted from person to person, so caution is needed.

According to the Korean Dental Association on the 18th of November, tooth decay is a contagious disease, and 'mutans', a caries-causing bacteria that exists in the oral cavity, can be transmitted.

Mutans proliferates in places where food debris can easily get caught, such as the chewing surfaces of molars, interdental spaces, and gaps between teeth and gums. This fungus creates a strong acid and causes dental caries.

The first case of mutans transmission in a person's life is usually a transmission between a newborn baby and a caregiver. Between the ages of 1.5 and 2.5, the infancy period is when mutans in the oral cavity are easy to invade and settle. Therefore, caregivers should be careful not only through direct transmission routes, but also indirect transmission through spoons and pacifiers.

In order to prevent the spread of mutans, it is helpful to thoroughly maintain oral hygiene through proper brushing and use of xylitol gum or chlorhexidine mouthwash, which has antibacterial action against mutans. Direct contact with poor hygiene should be avoided.

Source: The Korea Health News

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