What good and bad bacteria do we have in our mouths?
Bacteria have always existed, but because of the current situation we are now more concerned about them than ever. For some time, we have been trying to prevent them from accumulating on our hands and trying not to spread them when we sneeze, and we do our best to eliminate them from our utensils.
However, the human body and the mouth in particular, have always been covered in bacteria. Did you know that bacteria live amongst our teeth? According to various studies, a single tooth can have millions of oral bacteria and more than 700 different species of bacteria that live in our mouth have been identified and these make up our oral microbiome.
However, there is no cause for alarm because the presence of bacteria is normal when it is not excessive. Learning all there is to know about oral health and brushing techniques, and maintaining a proper daily oral hygiene routine are some of the things that you can do to stop bacteria from spreading.
But do we need to eliminate all of these bacteria? Are there any good bacteria? Today we will answer these questions and we will introduce you to the main bacteria that live in your mouth.
Yes indeed, some of the bacteria in your mouth, are on your side. They protect your teeth and gums, and they facilitate the digestive process helping to digest food better and fighting against the damaging microbes that are present in the foods that we consume.
Seen like this, who would want to get rid of them, right? One of the bacteria that protects us against tooth decay is Streptococcus dentisani, quite a blessing for our teeth.
Acting as good hosts and creating a favourable environment for them might even be more important than trying to eliminate the more damaging or harmful bacteria. A good starting point in terms of feeding these beneficial bacteria is to eat more plant-based foods and to reduce those of animal origin. In other words, increasing our consumption of fruit, vegetables, pulses, lentils, tofu and dry fruits and nuts. In this way, you will be promoting a more balanced oral environment and you will enjoy good general health.
So then, the time has come to meet the bacteria that do not look after your health, but which only look after themselves. These are the causes of disorders such as tooth decay, bad breath and periodontal disease.
Causes of tooth decay:
Streptococcus mutans is the bacteria most closely associated with tooth decay and it is practically present in all areas of the mouth. Therefore, there is a very close relationship between tooth decay and bacteria. However, you only need to worry about this bacterium if your consumption of food and beverages with a high sugar content is high because it feeds off sugar. In this case, the Streptococcus mutans produces acidic compounds that begin to dissolve the outer layer of the dental enamel and cause tooth decay.
Causes of bad breath:
The bacterium Solobacterium moorei is one of the main culprits for you not having fresh breath and you might have a serious case of halitosis. It produces the smelly compounds and fatty acids that are responsible for the unpleasant smell. On the other hand, the presence of the bacterium Helicobacter Pylori, can also result in a serious case of halitosis. This bacterium is mainly spread through contaminated food and water, and it causes bad breath owing to the production of sulphides and other gases such as ammonia in the mouth. If you detect it, you should go to see a health professional.
Causes of periodontitis:
Finally, Treponema denticola and Porphyromonas gingivalis are two types of bacteria associated with periodontal disease. If they find an environment that allows them to thrive, they can sneak in under the gumline and destroy the bone and tissue surrounding the teeth. When this happens, periodontitis can appear. In complex cases, teeth can loosen, move or even fall out.
How to eliminate damaging bacteria:
So then, what can we do to prevent bacteria accumulating in your mouth? How can we eliminate the risk factors. Following the tips below will help to prevent your mouth from playing host to unwelcome guests.
- Look after your dental hygiene. Good oral care habits are key in terms of preventing pathogenic microorganisms that are bad for your health and you should be aware of the importance of a good toothbrush and your choice of toothpaste. You should never forget to brush your teeth after eating, and you should use mouthwashes or rinses and clean the interdental spaces every day.
- Reduce your consumption of sugar or eliminate it completely. Do not give them their favourite food. Prevent bacteria and sugars from coming together.
- Visit the dentist at your dental clinic. Oral health professionals can clean your mouth profoundly and remove the bacterial plaque that has gathered in your mouth.