You just had your teeth cleaned. The doctor is about to examine your teeth and you're crossing your fingers. The mantra "don't find anything" runs through your head over and over again. It's a roll of the dice. Will he find cavities or not?
Most patients think of cavities as an occasional inconvenience that their dentist finds. A random stroke of bad luck that means another appointment or two with the doctor. But really tooth decay or dental caries is a disease that is spread similarly to the common cold.
Tooth decay bugs are spread by oral transmission. Basically we mean direct contact (kissing) or indirect contact (sharing a glass or spoon). If you swap saliva in some way, you're sharing cavity bugs. I know, I know…it's gross. But let's face it, we human beings tend to kiss on each other (and our babies) and sometimes share glasses or silverware. We need to be careful who we're sharing with! Does that new boyfriend you're kissing have any cavities that need attention? Are you spreading your cavity bugs to that newborn baby?
In a previous post I described a cavity as a hole in the tooth created by the acid waste products of bacteria. That much is true, but we're not talking about a clean and sterile hole in the tooth. This hole is actually a perfect place for cavity causing (acid loving) bugs to live and reproduce. Each cavity is actually a nidus (or nest) of infection.
So after you've thoroughly brushed and flossed your teeth or even after a cleaning by your dental hygienist when all the surface plaque and bacteria has been removed an unrestored cavity is a hideout for cavity bugs. These bad bugs can reinfect your clean mouth in a matter of hours.
What I'm saying is…you really shouldn't wait to take care of tooth decay. It isn't as simple as just fixing the hole that's there. That hole is a bacterial hideout of the worst kind that's waiting to reinfect your clean mouth and infect the people who are closest to you.
Now that I've sufficiently grossed you out doesn't that make you want to have a dentist make sure you don't have any bacterial nests lurking in your teeth? I'd be happy to help you toward a clean bill of dental health! If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at (989) 799-9133 and we'll take a look right away!