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Just How Many Bacteria Live in Your Mouth?

May 18, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — wedgewood @ 3:30 pm
An illustration of the bacteria in your mouth

Odds are you know that microbes contribute to oral health problems. After all, they’re the source of many bodily diseases. That being said, do you know how many bacteria live in your mouth? The number is higher than most people might imagine. As such, you’ll need to manage these germs to protect your teeth and gums. Luckily, your local Powell dentist is here to help you out. Read on, then, to learn about oral bacteria, which are most harmful, and how to manage their presence in your mouth.

Your Mouth is Home to Microbes

Even at its most clean, your mouth isn’t quite empty. Instead, it serves as a home for countless microbes.

According to the National Institutes of Health, roughly 700 bacteria species live in your mouth. They’re well-distributed, too, sticking to your teeth, tongue, and even the pockets of your gums. That said, these organisms serve diverse roles. Good ones help your mouth manage the bad ones, which form communities and create plaque and acid. All such bacteria, you see, live, grow, and reproduce.

Which Oral Bacteria is Most Harmful?

Amongst the bad bacteria, there are two kinds quite harmful to your mouth: streptococcus mutans and porphyromonas gingivalis.

Streptococcus mutans is a common bacteria you may have heard about. It lives on tooth surfaces and difficult-to-clean areas, feeding on the sugars and starches you eat. Over time, it produces enamel-eroding acids that cause cavities. This latter fact makes it the main cause of tooth decay.

In contrast, porphyromonas gingivalis usually isn’t present in a healthy mouth. When it does appear, though, the microbe can trigger gum disease. This condition – also known as periodontitis – is a severe disease that affects gum tissues and the bones supporting your teeth. Gum disease doesn’t stem solely from porphyromonas gingivalis, but it shouldn’t be taken lightly. It can cause significant dental pain and result in tooth loss.

How to Manage Oral Bacteria

As it happens, you can manage and control the harmful bacteria in your mouth. Just remember to do the following:

  • Practice Good Oral Hygiene – To remove harmful bacteria, brush twice daily with fluoridated toothpaste. Also, floss between your teeth once daily.
  • Avoid Sugary & Starchy Foods – Items high in sugar and starch attract harmful bacteria. Those microbes, in turn, produce enamel-eroding acids.
  • Promote “Good” Bacteria – Some foods promote healthy bacteria and thus keep your mouth safe. These include yogurt, sauerkraut pickles, and sourdough bread.

Indeed, very many bacteria live in your mouth. Even so, however, you can keep harmful ones at bay with the right oral practices.

About the Practice

Wedgewood Complete Dentistry is based in Powell, OH. Led by Dr. Eskridge, our practice provides the very best in high-quality dentistry. To that end, we offer top-tier preventive, cosmetic, and restorative services, as well as emergency dental care. Our team is also a certified provider of both Invisalign clear aligners and TMJ therapy. For more information or to book a visit, reach us on our website or call us at (614)-792-0063.

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