• Dr. Sonal Naidu Addal

Did you know how transfer of bacteria, viruses and fungi happen from person to person via oral route

I’ll want to start this piece of information with some facts :

· There are around 6 billion bacteria which reside in our mouth and the number is more if oral hygiene isn’t good!

· A new born is born with almost sterile mouth and in almost 48- 72 hours, the bacterial count reaches to almost that of an adult!

· Many bacteria are present in mouth which don’t harm us until their number starts increasing more than normal, due to various factors like presence of food particles(like cavity causing bacteria) or certain medical conditions(like bacteria that cause gum infection in diabetes).

There are also many ways in which bacteria, virus and fungus transfer from person to person:

· When people share their spoon while eating or uses the same utensil with someone, this way the bacterial transfer happens(happens while feeding a child or your loved ones)

· sharing a cookie or a piece of bread or a piece of cake or a piece of chocolate etc bacterial transfer happens.

· sharing their cup of beverage or drink or a glass of water.

· When people kiss either on lips or around mouth area, (like in cheeks , in case of children).

· When people share a cigarette.

· When people share toothbrush! (I’ve heard while traveling spouses do share tooth brushes which is absolutely against oral hygiene)

So basically whenever any tiniest amount of saliva transfer happens, saliva will carry along with it bacteria which are present in it, millions of them!

This can be prevented simple changes like, keeping different utensils for all family members, avoiding sharing food which is already been bitten by other person, and maintaining strict oral hygiene.

Another point here is this usually happens a lot with dependents, like children or old age people who depend on others to feed them. Or within closely related people or spouses. Though it’s really good to totally avoid it, but practically some sharing does happen, and some cuddles and kisses are what make us who we are!

Hence, for the good of our loved ones everyone should maintain strict oral hygiene, because if there aren’t bacteria in excess, they don’t get transferred to other person! And also we should keep ourselves checked regularly and be cautious even when we have flus or medical conditions. If we be a little conscious, we can avoid cavity causing bacteria, disease causing bacteria, flu viruses , other viruses or many fungi from getting transferred!

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