Cavities Are Contagious And You Can Get Them From Kissing

By Dave Basner

April 19, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

For years, you've been told that if you brush and floss your teeth, you won't get cavities, and while that is mostly true, you can still get tooth decay in a surprising way - through kissing.

A dentist on TikTok revealed the news in a video where she wrote, "Thinking about the kiss I gave my husband even though he has cavities." She captioned the clip, "And that's on cavities being contagious."

Many people wrote it off as some stranger on TikTok passing off fake medical advice, but it turns out to be true. It was first noted in the 1970s and further studies have proven it. One example came in 2011, when a dentist told the New York Times about a patient in her 40s who had never before had a cavity, but then began dating a man with poor dental hygiene who hadn't been to the dentist in 18 years.


& that’s on cavities being contagious 🦠

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The bad bacteria feed on the sugars we eat and release an acid that breaks down the tooth and causes a cavity, which is why you are often told that candy is bad for your teeth.

Of course, you could still have the cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth and not wind up needing fillings - many do. It just takes twice-a-day brushing and flossing.

As for if you should now think twice about kissing, one dentist and cavity expert noted, "Kissing is a really good way to pass on any disease from one to another. So I think it’s very important not to say that kissing is bad, because it’s part of humans' activity. Be careful if your partner has lots and lots of decay. They are going to transmit to you. So if your partner is loaded with active decay, do send them to a dentist and get it fixed."

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