Dental Blog

Which Oral Bacteria Are Responsible for Wreaking Havoc on Your Smile?

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, along with the professional 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)!

With that being said, if biofilm is not removed from the teeth regularly and effectively, you’re actually putting yourself at a high risk for cavities and gum disease.

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

1. Streptococcus mutans

Responsible for causing tooth decay and cavities, s. mutans thrive off of the sugars and carbohydrates that we consume, creating dentally destructive acids which attack our precious enamel. Foods commonly known to promote s.mutans destruction include processed snacks that contain excess sugars such as granola bars, cookies, any kind of dessert or candies, even white breads. Be sure to limit your consumption of sugar-filled beverages such as sodas and fruit juices, as well - as these liquids tend to settle and sit on the teeth where they can do a lot of harm.

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 adult on the planet has strep mutans lurking in their mouths… and while we don’t have full control over that, we do have full control over how we choose to look after our smiles every day.

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 (the initial phase is gingivitis, a reversible stage which commonly shows itself through gum bleeding). So essentially, s. mutans pose a threat to our teeth – and p. gingivalis pose a threat to our gums. P. gingivalis relies on the fermentation of amino acids for its energy production, which occurs deep in the gum pockets where sugars aren’t as readily present as they are on the teeth’s surfaces. This nasty bacteria is also correlated to other chronic inflammatory diseases.

You have the power to keep these destructive bacteria in check!

The best way to keep these nasty s.mutans and p. gingivalis bacteria under control is to keep up with your proper daily oral hygiene practices. This includes:

  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet with limited processed foods, sugars and acids
  • Limiting snacking frequency as this exposes the mouth to more instances of bacterial exposure and attack (but snack as often as you’d like on foods such vegetables and cheeses).
  • 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? :)

Speaking of routine dental visits - are you due for your next one?

Our Milton dentist and hygienist would be happy to see you! Reach out to us today to schedule your check-up and cleaning, and your smile will thank you.

Oral Bacteria

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At Southview Dental, we understand how much of an impact your oral health has on your entire body. Your smile should be healthy, functional, and one you're proud to show off! That’s why our dental team offers a wide variety of quality dental treatments to patients of all ages. So whatever your unique dental needs are for your one-of-a-kind smile, we’ve got you covered. Has it been over six months since you’ve last had a professional look after your smile? Our Milton dentist and team would love to see you for a check-up and cleaning! Contact us today to book an appointment.