Call today (910) 550-3959

Dental Cavities on the Rise

Dental caries, or as they are more commonly known, cavities. They’re those pesky little spots of decay in your teeth that form when your below-the-surface tooth enamel breaks down, causing the surface enamel to collapse, and creating a sinkhole in your tooth. But what causes cavities in the first place, and why are they on the rise?

"According to recent data, cavities are increasing across every single age group in America," said Dr. Michele Simpson of Wilmington, North Carolina. "Which is ironic, because today there are more tooth care products on the market than ever before."

But according to Simpson, the increase in cavities may not be entirely about hygiene.

"A recent study at the University of Zurich found that genetic enamel defects may be caused by not just bacteria on the teeth, but by the strength of the enamel itself," explained Simpson. "Basically, some teeth have stronger enamel than others, and those with weaker enamel have less protection against cavities."



It’s in His Kiss
Another surprising cause of cavities?

"Believe it or not, it may be your parents," says Simpson.

Simpson is referring to the numerous studies that have shown that the bacteria responsible for causing cavities can be easily transmitted between parents and children, and even children and peers. Known as "vertical transmission," the bacteria can be transmitted via saliva if the parent or person doing the transmitting has serious, untreated tooth decay. Transmission from peer to peer or sibling to sibling is known as "horizontal transmission."

According to Simpson, vertical and horizontal transmission occur most frequently at a time in a child’s life when they’re at an especially high risk for tooth decay. The natural immunity to S. Mutans bacteria (the bacteria responsible for tooth decay) we develop over time has not yet developed, and the initial passive immunity passed from the mother to child during pregnancy has worn off.

"All it takes for vertical or horizontal immunity to pass from one person to another is a kiss or a shared cup or utensil," said  Simpson. "It really is as simple as that."

Is Prevention Possible? 
So, what can we do to prevent this type of bacterial transmission? After all, most parents aren’t going to stop kissing their kids.

"I wouldn’t say don’t kiss your kids," said. Simpson. "But maybe try to avoid kissing them on the mouth if you haven’t brushed your teeth recently. Also, avoid sharing cups, straws, utensils, toothbrushes, or anything else that has been in your mouth. I know it’s easier said than done, especially when your toddler grabs your drink off the table, but all the more reason to keep current with your dental exams and maintain excellent oral hygiene between cleanings."

Could Your Dentures Be Making You Sick?
Baby Teeth Offer Autism Clues

Call Us Today!

Most Popular

28 December 2016
If you’re like most people, you have most likely experienced the pain of accidentally biting the inside of your cheek while chewing – and then continuing to bite the same spot over and over for days, ...
26 January 2018
It seems like you can’t read anything these days without hearing about apple cider vinegar and how well it works to cure a variety of ailments. But how can a condiment do so much? After all, apple cid...
01 December 2016
The human mouth is designed to hold 32 permanent "adult" teeth, including four wisdom teeth. Sometimes, however, the mouth has other plans. Believe it or not, it is possible to be born with less than ...
02 November 2017
If you’re the parent of a child with a less-than-perfect smile, you may be considering straightening your child’s teeth with braces. But with so much misinformation out there about these orthodontic d...
17 May 2018
 You may have heard the term "mind-body connection" and wondered what it meant. The truth is, it has different meanings for different people. For some, it is the connection between spirituality (...

Contact Us

Please type your full name.
Invalid email address.
Invalid Input
Invalid Input
Invalid Input

Michele Simpson DDS

Wilmington Dental Office

3317 Masonboro Loop Rd • Suite 140 • Wilmington, NC 28409

(910) 550-3959

© 2016 Michele Simpson. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Designed By Dog Star Media

Contact Info

Call Today!

(910) 550-3959

Visit us
3317 Masonboro Loop Rd
Suite 140
Wilmington, NC 28409