Understanding the Bacteria That Affect Your Oral Health
Posted on 1/25/2021 by Bryan Neu
Did you know that over 700 species of bacteria live in your mouth and the total count of all these bacteria is about 6 billion? Although this may sound very alarming, the microbiome found in your mouth is essential for your oral health — but only as long as they are balanced.
Unfortunately, though, changes in the environment of our mouth lead to the proliferation of certain kinds of bacteria that cause dental disease and gum disease. Here is how you should ensure that you live in harmony with the bacteria in your mouth.
Balance of Bacteria In Your Mouth
When the bacteria in your mouth live in a symbiotic relationship with you, it can result in good oral health. However, if this relationship breaks down, there is a shift in balance that can lead to oral diseases.
For example, things like consuming a high-sugar diet or the reduction of saliva in your mouth can lower the pH levels in your mouth, resulting in an acidic environment. This kind of ecosystem allows acid-loving bacteria to thrive, which gives rise to plaque. When these bacteria accumulate in your mouth, you are at high risk of dental decay and gum disease.
Bacteria and Oral Disease
Cavities are the most common type of oral issue that plagues people of all ages. According to research, the bacterium Streptococcus mutans is responsible for causing cavities. In addition, a bacteria species called Veillonella is associated with causing cavities in young kids.
The presence and proliferation of both these types of bacteria in the mouth result in gum disease as well, which causes destruction of the gums and the supporting structure of the teeth. The moist pockets between your gums and your teethare the perfect breeding ground for these harmful bacteria.
Maintaining Oral Balance
To keep your oral bacteria in a healthy balance, it is important that you be very diligent in your oral health care regimen. The American Dental Association recommends that you:
Brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste every day.
Floss your teeth at least once every day.
Limit the consumption of sugary food and drink.
Drink fluoridated water.
Quit smoking and reduce alcohol consumption.
Avoid getting oral piercings.
Get your mouth checked twice a year by a dentist.
By following the simple advice above, you can reduce the risk of oral health issues and ensure a bright and white smile. If you have any questions about your oral health, talk to us by calling us at (847) 230-9143.