Mouth Bacteria and What They Do
Your mouth is full of bacteria that are both good and bad. You can’t see, feel, or taste the bacteria in your mouth. Bacteria are tiny microorganisms that live essentially everywhere in the environment, on plants and animals. Up to 700 different kinds of bacteria can live in the mouth. Bacteria cover everywhere in the mouth, teeth, gums, tongue, cheeks and back of the throat. With regular proper brushing and flossing can reduce the harmful bacteria that can build up between teeth and along the gum line. Let’s take a closer look at the good and harmful bacteria that live in the mouth.
Bacteria may have a bad reputation, but believe it or not, there is actually bacteria that is good for you. The good bacteria that live in your mouth serve multiple purposes. They help breakdown food and kill the harmful bacteria that can lead to dental and oral diseases. An environment with a neutral to high pH is where good bacteria can thrive the best. A good bacteria, such as Streptococcus salivarius K12, can get rid of bad bacteria and help you have a better smelling breath. Good bacteria can also help reduce instances of dry mouth and issues with cavities or gum disorders.
Experiencing excessive bad breath may be a sign that there is not enough good bacteria in the mouth to balance the harmful ones. Two of the most common harmful mouth bacteria are Streptococcus mutans and Porphyromonas gingivalis. Streptococcus mutans feeds on the sugars and starches in the food you eat and produce acids that erode the teeth enamel leading to decay. Porphyromonas gingivalis typically des not appear in healthy mouths, and when it does it is linked to periodontal disease.
Balancing the good and bad
Without proper dental and oral care, bacteria can contribute to dental decay and gum disease. But it’s not ideal to kill off all the bacteria in your mouth. You should strive to promote the healthy mouth bacteria and control the growth of bad bacteria. To keep the bacteria or germs in your mouth in check, you need to have a balanced healthy diet, practice good oral care, and visit your dentist regularly. You should select a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and limit snacking throughout the day. Brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily will help you decrease the growth of bad bacteria. Remembering to schedule your regular dental cleaning and check up with your dentist is also integral in promoting good bacteria to keep your mouth healthy.
Be sure to contact California Dental Group at (800) 407-0161 to set up your dental appointment with our experienced dentists and dental professionals.