A TikTok dentist says cavities are contagious

A Houston dentist got more than a million views on TikTok for a video that implies cavities can be spread through kissing.

HOUSTON — Are cavities contagious?

A Houston dentist posted a viral video on TikTok implying cavities can spread through kissing, and the video has been viewed more than a million times.

The dentist’s caption reads “and that’s on cavities being contagious”.

Dr. Tasneem Mahmood is the dentist in the video. She practices at Progressive Dental Houston. She told KHOU 11 News she stands by the claim.

“The main bacteria in the case of cavities is called streptococcus mutans. It can be transmitted from person to person,” Mahmood said.

Other dentists agree it is true.

“Transmissibility of bacteria occurs, but not only through kissing. Sharing toothbrushes, water irrigation systems,” said Dr. Ana Neumann, DDS, a professor of dentistry with UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry and UT Dentists.

Dr. Neumann clarifies swapping spit with someone with a cavity doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll develop one too. Dental plaque, dental hygiene, and diet are important factors too.

So KHOU 11 can verify, it is true that cavities can be contagious, but dentists say that doesn’t mean you should avoid being affectionate towards loved ones with cavities.

Just be sure to practice good dental hygiene daily and visit a dentist regularly.


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