Oral Bacteria – the Good and the Bad
There are almost 1000 types of bacteria that survive in the mouth. While some bacteria are very harmful, others are beneficial and essential for proper immune system functioning. Good bacteria inhibit the passage of disease-causing germs from the mouth to the intestines. If these bacteria were absent, our bodies would have been constantly attacked by different germs.
Bad bacteria, on the other hand, eat up the enamel, causing tooth decay and gum problems. It’s important to maintain a healthy balance of microbes in the oral cavity so that we can retain the benefits of good bacteria and curb the ill effects of bad bacteria.
How Bacteria Thrive in the Mouth
The structure of the tooth along with the moisture and warmth of the oral cavity makes it an ideal habitat for microorganisms. In order to maintain healthy ecology within the oral cavity, we have to use mouthwashes and oral health products that maintain an ideal balance of good and bad bacteria. One thing we ought to remember though is that it’s not helpful to have a completely sterile environment inside the mouth. This will destroy both bad and good bacteria, increasing our risk of contracting various diseases from germs that enter through the mouth.
The importance of proper oral hygiene cannot be stressed enough. Several studies reveal that poor oral hygiene is associated with the development of certain forms of cancer. People with less than ideal oral hygiene are also more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. One of the most common species of harmful bacteria that exists in the mouth is known as Streptococcus mutans.
These bacteria break down tooth enamel and cause decay and periodontal diseases. Saliva works to reduce the negative effects of bad bacteria. It’s made up of both proteins and glycoproteins that feed good bacteria and wash away bad bacteria. The moisture in the mouth also prevents bacteria from sticking to the teeth so it plays a major part in maintaining a good balance of microbes. Saliva cannot, however, battle all bacteria in the mouth, so it’s wise to follow a proper cleaning regime.
Tips to Maintain Proper Oral Hygiene
Toothbrushes can often become breeding grounds for bacteria. You have to make sure you rinse your brush after each use and allow it to air dry instead of putting into a case or cover. Never share your brush with anyone and replace it after 3 months or earlier if necessary. If you’re not used to flossing with a cord, consider using a water-floss. It cleans the crevices in your teeth with a jet of water, leaving your mouth feeling very fresh.
If you want to kill bad bacteria in your mouth, you could also chew on lozenges that contain L.paracasei bacteria. Some candies also contain licorice extract that suppresses bad bacteria like Streptococcus mutans, sobrinus and lactobacillus.
If you have questions regarding your oral health, call the experts at Tony Weir Orthodontics. We offer you a wide range of braces, retainers and orthodontic products. We are backed by 20 years of experience and we make sure you get the right solution to your oral problems at the best price. Go online to book a consultation or call us on 07 3278 1492.