In 2006 International Kissing Day was established and it’s celebrated on July 6th. In our society, a kiss is a sign of affection or a warm greeting but did you know a single kiss can spread up to 80 million bacteria?
We are not born with the bacteria that cause cavities. Studies have proven that parents often infect their child before the age of 2. Once your child becomes exposed they are prone to cavities in baby and permanent teeth. In fact, babies can also begin to develop them before their first tooth erupts!
Tooth decay is a disease known as dental caries. It is caused by specific germs and is easily spread throughout families by sharing a cup, utensils, or toothbrushes, and lasts a lifetime. Did you know it’s more common for a child to have cavities than any other chronic illness? Bacteria loves sugar and attacks the structure of teeth by diminishing calcium. It also creates plaque which builds even more enamel-eroding acid.
Can tooth decay be spotted early?
Early tooth decay can be hard to see. A sign is a white strip along the gum line at the base of the teeth. During the early stages, you might be able to see brown spots on the teeth, and gums are red and inflamed. When more advanced, the spots are blackened.
If you have had your fair share of troubles with your teeth, it’s important to take precautions when it comes to your child’s dental care. It’s recommended to bring your child to the dentist six months after the first tooth erupts or by their first birthday. The best way to limit cavities is to brush and floss with your kids daily. Setting the example helps create and reinforce these healthy habits.
Tips for keeping decay away from your children:
- Wipe down your baby’s gums with a washcloth after feedings, even if the first tooth has not erupted.
- Start brushing with fluoride-free toothpaste as the first tooth erupts.
- When your child is two or three years old, begin using toothpaste with a small amount of fluoride, and begin flossing when two teeth are touching.
What can happen to untreated cavities?
Cavities don’t go away by themselves. If you ignore a cavity, it continues to grow. They are small holes in your teeth that will become wider and deeper making your teeth more fragile, increasing the risk to crack. If left untreated, the cavity will next reach your tooth’s nerves, which is likely to cause severe pain. Depending on your situation, your tooth will either need a root canal or require extraction. If your tooth is infected you will need antibiotics along with cavity treatment.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an infection at your gum line which may result in a damaged jaw bone. There are three different stages: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. Gum disease is caused by bacteria and plaque. If not removed it hardens and turns into tartar while plaque continues to form more build up. The only way for it to be removed is by visiting your general dentist for a professional cleaning.
Warning Signs of Gum Disease
- Bleeding gums while brushing or flossing
- Gums that are pulled away from teeth- making teeth look longer
- Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
- Swollen, red, or tender gums
- Bad breath
What happens if I don’t treat my Periodontitis?
The first stage of gum disease might be easy to miss, but if left untreated it will result in larger problems. If you notice any of the warning signs or think you may have gum disease contact your general dentist today. Lack of treatment results in tender gums, receding gums, sensitive teeth, loose teeth, and eventually leads to tooth loss. Let’s prevent that together!
Have you ever wondered why we kiss with our eyes closed? Maybe it’s because when oral care wasn’t popular nobody wanted to see others teeth up close… Just kidding! But because of dental advancements, it’s easy to keep your smile in tip-top shape. Protect you and your family from bacteria and tooth decay today!