What’s Living in Your Mouth?

Did you know that over 700 different strains of bacteria have been detected in the human mouth?

The good news is that most of us are only host to 34 to 72 different varieties and that most of the bacterial species appear to be harmless when it comes to our health. Some are actually beneficial, helping us digest our food and protecting our teeth and gums.

There are some bacteria, however, that we’d rather do without, since they cause tooth decay and gum disease. The two most common harmful bacteria in our mouths are Streptococcus mutans and Porphyromonas gingivalis.

Streptococcus mutans lives in your mouth and feeds on the sugars and starches you eat. As a by-product of its ravenous appetite, it produces enamel-eroding acids, making it the main cause of tooth decay in humans.

Porphyromonas gingivalis is usually not present in a healthy mouth, but when it does appear, it has been strongly linked to periodontitis. Periodontitis is a serious and progressive disease that affects the tissues and the alveolar bone that support the teeth. It is not a disease to be taken lightly. It can cause significant dental pain, and can eventually lead to tooth loss.

Once you’ve got a strain of oral bacteria, you’re not likely to rid yourself of it. But you can control it with a healthy diet, good oral care practices and regular visits to your dentist. Be sure to floss after meals and floss at least once per day.  Antibacterial mouthwash can also be used.  This will help remove the source of food for harmful bacteria, which can keep them from reproducing in your mouth. Try to avoid sugary and starchy foods, especially when you don’t have access to a toothbrush.

If you are looking for a dentist in the Troy and Birmingham area who utilizes the latest dental techniques and technology, be sure to check out Dr. Douglas Angell. Angell’s Dentistry is committed to providing each of our patients with a beautiful, healthy smile and unmatched dental care. Give our office a call at (248) 362-4330 and be sure to visit our website at: www.angellsdentistry.com.

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