Dental Blog

Oral Bacteria: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Learn about your mouth’s biggest enemies!

Your mouth is full of bacteria – over 700 different strains, to be exact! And while this might sound gross or even scary, most of these bacteria are completely harmless and even necessary… and the bad bacteria can be managed with good oral hygiene care.

Oral bacteria is present in biofilm, a substance that forms and accumulates on the teeth – and this requires removal through daily brushing and flossing, and with the help of a hygienist every 6 or so months. (P.S: if it’s been a while since you’ve had a cleaning, call our Milton dentist today)! When biofilm is not removed from the teeth regularly, you’re actually putting yourself at a high risk for cavities and gum disease. Yuck!

There are two types of bacteria in particular that are known to cause dental destruction:

1. Streptococcus mutans

Responsible for causing tooth decay and cavities, s. mutans thrive off of the sugars and carbohydrates you consume, creating dentally destructive acids which attack your precious enamel. Yeah… we’re not the biggest fan. The interesting thing is, we aren’t actually born with s. mutans present in our mouths, and are typically first introduced to it when we’re infants – receiving it from our mother or primary caregiver. Yep, essentially everyone has strep mutans… we unfortunately can’t run from this one!

2. Porphyromonas gingivalis

P. gingivalis is a bacteria that has a strong link to periodontitis, the final stage of gum disease that puts the teeth at risk for becoming loose and falling out. So essentially, s. mutans pose a threat to our teeth – and p. gingivalis pose a threat to our gums. This nasty bacteria is also correlated to other chronic inflammatory diseases.

The best way to keep these destructive bacteria under control is to keep up proper oral hygiene practices, and by eating a healthy, balanced diet. Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day for two full minutes each time, and always floss daily! See your dentist and hygienist for a check-up and cleaning every 6 months or as required. It isn’t so hard, is it? :)

Oral Bacteria

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