Are Cavities Contagious? A Comprehensive Answer

September 30, 2022

Cavities rank among the most common dental issues. Have an extra dose of sugar, neglect your oral hygiene, and soon the cavities will be on your tail. However, that’s not the only way to get cavities. It turns out cavities are contagious as well. Which means they can pass on from one person to another. Cavities can jump from one tooth to another, which is hard to handle, let alone the possibility of contracting cavities from another person. Let’s learn more about contagious cavities and how you can prevent their spread.

What Are Cavities?

A cavity is tooth decay caused by bacteria feasting on sugar in your mouth. Food remnants in your mouth are a common source of sugar. Therefore, bacteria proliferate in an abundance of food, and you witness these rising numbers in the form of plaque. Plaque bacteria release acid to digest the food, and the acid also weakens the enamel. Eventually, cavities grow deeper and deeper. You won’t feel their presence when cavities are limited to the surface. However, as the cavity progresses, your body alerts you through toothache and increased sensitivity. If you have cavities, the cariogenic bacteria will linger in your saliva. Deeper cavities lead to a higher level of saliva bacteria.

What Makes Cavities Contagious?

As we discussed earlier, there are cavity-causing bacteria found in the saliva. Therefore, cavities can spread if saliva is exchanged.

How Can Saliva Be Exchanged?

Luckily, it’s not quite common to pass cavities from one person to another. Transfer between kissing couples and from mother to an infant are a few instances. Studies done with couples concluded that there is a risk of passing cavities to the partner. Similarly, testing food temperature in the mouth before passing it on to the baby also poses a risk. This transfer is quite concerning because babies still have a developing immune system making them more vulnerable to cavities and infection. Nonetheless, with the following few tips, you can halt the transfer of cavities.

How To Prevent Cavities Jumping From One Individual To Another?

. Maintain good oral hygiene. The theory is straightforward: no cavities, no problem.
. Brush your teeth and use mouthwash to kill cariogenic bacteria in your saliva before you express your love towards your partner.
. Never taste the food before feeding it to the baby.
. Try to eliminate all kinds of saliva transfers between you and the baby.


Cavities jumping from one individual to another is an uncommon occurrence, but it can happen for sure. However, if you try to limit saliva transfer using the tips we discussed earlier, you don’t have to fret about getting cavities. Nonetheless, there are more likely ways to develop cavities, and you will need routine precautions to safeguard yourself. Among those, don’t forget about regular dental checkups. It can help you catch cavities early in action and take small actions to rectify the situation. Hence, never skip a dental appointment. Book an appointment with Briar Forest Dental Group, and you will notice the difference. Call us at (713) 784-4430 to learn more about our services.

We are proud to serve patients from all nearby communities, including Briar Forest, The Memorial Villages, Memorial City, Westchase, and Walnut Bend.


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