When you think of your significant other, chances are you're not really focusing much on what's going on in their mouth. Even so, you may be surprised to learn how your partner's oral health could impact you. Here's why both people in a healthy and good relationship should take care of their oral health.
How Your Own Oral Health Problems Happen
Gum disease and plaque on the teeth - or cavities, if you prefer - are both ultimately triggered by bacteria. Bacteria thrives in the mouth, especially when it regularly gets sugar and carbohydrates via the food and drink you live on. These bacteria are where the problem begins for you and your partner.
If you ever kiss your partner, chances are you've swapped bacteria. Bacteria can live in saliva, and any saliva that's transferred from one mouth to the other allows that bacteria to be carried over.
If one of you has gum disease or another oral health problem, this could end up being an issue for both of you. As disgusting as it may sound, bacteria isn't the only thing to get transferred, either. Sticky plaque or standard plaque can both transfer from one mouth to another, especially with more liberal kissing techniques. Transferring any of these things can jumpstart gum disease in the other person, or it can worsen existing gum disease.
What to Do
Mouths will always have bacteria, and some bacteria are even beneficial, so it's not a matter of completely annihilating them. Instead, what's important is to keep the bad bacteria in check.
If it's been a while since the two of you have been to a dentist's office, it's time to go. Get a full check-up and cleaning and any additional procedures your dentist wants to perform to get your mouth back in shape.
Once your mouth is healthy, keep it that way. Floss, brush, and use extra tools at your disposal, like anti-cavity mouthwash and a water flosser, to stimulate and clean your gums.
Furthermore, you can make an effort to brush your teeth before you kiss, or at least afterward. Getting rid of any transferred bacteria can help to prevent problems from happening. Of course, doing it beforehand will also help to freshen up your breath before the kiss, so that's also a good option. If in doubt, do both.
Bacteria can cause plenty of problems in the mouth, so do what's right for both of you and work on your oral health before you next smooch. For more tips on dental care, contact a local clinic like Smile Makers Dental.