While you cannot see them, taste them, or feel them, your mouth is actually home to a wide variety of microorganisms. Although the majority of these microscopic bacteria can’t harm you, others can cause diseases and affect your health. They must be managed through healthy eating and oral hygiene habits. A St. George dental clinic shares more information below:
What’s In a Mouth?
According to the U.S National Center for Biotechnology Information, more than 700 varied strains of oral bacteria can live in your mouth — most mouths however only host about 30 to 70 of these. The majority of these oral bacteria is harmless and can even help maintain good health such as probiotics, which aids in proper food digestion. Some even help in protecting your gums and teeth. Others, however, can cause gum disease and tooth decay.
Common Mouth-Dwelling Harmful Bacteria
You may have heard about Streptococcus mutans, which dwells in your mouth and gorges itself on starches and sugars you consume. While this doesn’t sound terrible at all, due to its voracious appetite, it is capable of producing acids that can gradually erode your tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay.
Additionally, while Porphyromonas gingivalis won’t normally be found in healthy mouths, when it makes an appearance, it will take over and cause periodontitis or gum disease. This is a highly progressive and severe disease that negatively impacts the bone and tissue supporting your teeth and must be addressed sooner rather than later. Common symptoms include significant pain in your teeth that will result in tooth loss if not addressed early on.
How to Evict Harmful Bacteria
Unfortunately, though they don’t pay rent, you can’t just evict bacteria in your mouth. You can, however, manage and keep them in line. Brushing your teeth after eating and flossing once daily at least can eliminate the bacteria’s food sources and stop them from further reproducing. You can also use antibacterial mouthwash for extra protection.
A healthy diet is also a must. Refrain from excessively sugary and starchy foods and eat foods capable of promoting good bacteria production in your mouth. Lastly, make sure to regularly visit a dental clinic, so your dentist can monitor your teeth.