Dental Bacteria: All About Oral Microbiology
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It may shock you to know that the human mouth is a host to over 700 types of bacteria. Most of these bacteria groups are harmless, some even protect the teeth and gums and some bacteria (probiotics) also help in the digestion of food. However, there is one more class of bad bacteria in the mouth that exists that can cause diseases.
Regular flossing and brushing are one way of keeping these bacteria in the mouth at bay. Following a healthy diet, practising good oral care and periodically visiting your dentist are some more ways to tackle germs in the mouth.
Did You Know Your Diet Can Affect Your Oral Health?
The food you eat does play a role in your oral health. Here are some examples that illustrate the connection:
- Acidic foods like citrus fruits, tomatoes, and pickles can cause damage to the enamel and expose the inner protein layer called dentin. This exposure can lead to teeth sensitivity and irritation too!
- Consuming calcium-rich foods like dairy products, green leafy vegetables, fish and almonds can greatly improve the strength of the teeth and keep them healthier!
- Intake of sugary soft drinks has long been associated with dental erosion and dental caries.
- Smoking and drinking excessive wine, tea or coffee can stain teeth.
- Even frequent snacking and inadequate brushing can cause tooth decayand infections!
- And, lastly, consuming some sugary drinks and medicines can negatively affect the production of saliva in the mouth. Since saliva is responsible for naturally cleaning the teeth and preventing acidic foods from causing damage to them, an absence or reduction in the saliva is bound to cause teeth issues too!
The Connection Between Oral Health and Overall Health
The mouth is the entrance to the digestive tract and the respiratory tract, hence oral health can have a direct correlation with the overall health of a body. Here are a few bodily conditions that have links to oral health:
When some bad bacteria on the teeth enter the respiratory tract, it is known to cause pneumonia and some other respiratory diseases.
- Birth complications
A serious gum infection, Periodontitis in which the tissue around the teeth is damaged is said to be linked to pregnancy and birth complications.
- Endocarditis and other cardiovascular diseases
Germs in the mouth have been linked to slipping into the bloodstream and attaching themselves to the heart which can cause endocarditis. Studies have also developed a connection between clogged arteries and strokes to the infection and inflammation that disease-causing bacteria create in the mouth.
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Dental Bacteria: FAQs
- What are oral bacteria?
Bacteria found in the mouth are called oral bacteria. Around 20 billion bacteria exist in our mouths. This bacteria can be of 700 different types. While most oral bacteria are either harmless or helpful, some disease-causing bacteria are also present in the mouth. Only regular brushing, flossing, and using good mouthwash can keep your mouth safe from bad oral bacteria.
- What are common oral infections?
Some common oral infections are
- Dental caries
- Periodontal disease
- Oral herpes
- Hand, foot and mouth disease
- How many germs are in my mouth?
There are around 700 different types of bacteria present in your mouth. These can be harmless, probiotics and disease-causing bacteria too!
- What are harmful bacteria in the mouth?
Streptococcus, Granulicatella, Gemella, and Veillonella are a few types of bad bacteria found in the mouth.
- What kills germs in the mouth?
A fluoride mouthwash is effective at killing harmful germs in the mouth. It contains ingredients like fluoride, peroxide and alcohol which can inactivate and eliminate bad bacteria in the mouth.
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