One of the most common dental problems and chronic diseases affecting children is dental cavities or caries and according to recent research, they are infectious.  It is possible for mothers to transmit the oral bacteria that cause cavities to the mouths of their young children by putting their own mouths on bottles and pacifiers or by sharing spoons.  Parents should avoid any possibility of spreading cavities to their children because they can be detrimental to their oral and overall health.

The Problem of Tooth Decay in Children

Assistant professor of the University of Louisville School of Dentistry Liliana Rozo, D.D.S. explains that dental cavities and tooth decay can negatively affect a child’s overall health and quality of life as well as their performance in school.  The symptoms of dental cavities in children include pain, problems chewing, and discolored or damaged teeth that can be disruptive to their daily activities.  It is important for parents to take action to help prevent their children from getting cavities.

Preventing Cavities in Children

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that parents find a dentist for their child as soon as their first tooth appears.  Finding good dental care for a child in these early stages will help parents take control of their children’s oral health and prevent cavities.  Many pediatric dentists keep the parents well informed about teething and good oral hygiene habits for their children and can even provide nutritional counseling that will promote good oral health.

According to Dr. Rozo, oral health is closely related to overall health and parents must be aware of this connection to understand the importance of maintaining good oral health for their children.  Microbial infections can enter the bloodstream through the mouth and poor oral health conditions greatly increase this risk.  The presence of symptoms such as bleeding gums or dry mouth could indicate an infection or a systemic disease and should be examined and treated by a dentist immediately.

Dental Cavities are Contagious

Not only are dental cavities the most commonly occurring childhood disease, they are also contagious and could lead to larger health problems and systemic disease.  Parents should find a pediatric dentist for their children early in their lives and take control of their dental health which will help maintain their overall health and lead to a better quality of life.