Study Finds Cavity Causing Bacteria Contagious

By: Danielle Morgan Email
By: Danielle Morgan Email

A Perry County dentist says 90 percent of his patients have had cavity causing bacteria in their mouths.

A recent study from the American Dental Association now says that bacteria is contagious and that pregnant women need to be checked immediately to prevent their newborns from having other health problems.

Twice a year, every six months, is the recommended dental checkups to maintain good oral hygiene, but Dentist Scott Browning says pregnant women need to pay a little more attention to their mouths, as soon as they find out they're having a baby to get rid of any possible cavity causing bacteria.

"The bacteria goes crazy sometimes during pregnancy because the lack of immune system," Browning said.

Browning says it's important for women to get checkups when planning to get pregnant and during the first trimester.

"The big thing is the bacteria in the mouth. Once it's introduced into the bloodstream, it ends up triggering the production which ends up triggering low-birth weight babies," he said.

A problem he says is also linked to heart disease. Since the bacteria is contagious, dental health advisors say both mom and dad need to have healthy smiles for their newborn.

"If they have a parent that has really poor dental decay in their mouth, they can actually transfer that to the baby and it happens within the first month or two of life," said Dental Health Advisor Nikki Stone.

This pregnant mom says she simply keeps up her daily routine of brushing, flossing and using mouthwash every day.

"The toothbrush, I always dip in Listerine afterwards just to sterilize it," said Jessica Stephens.

And a mom with a little more experience suggests a way to keep bacteria out of energetic toddlers’ mouths too.

"The flossers that you can buy with the little animals, they look at it more like a toy and fun thing," said Tammy Sturgill.

Doctor Browning also says it's important for pregnant women to have a dental checkup early, because treating bacteria too late into a pregnancy can be difficult. Other common sense tips he passed along for moms, is to avoid sharing utensils with little ones and to remember to floss, floss, floss.

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