The Forest inside Your Mouth: Oral Bacteria

Aug 23rd, 2012 | By | Category: General Dentistry, Oral Hygiene

Oral BacteriaBacteria has a bad reputation in a world where anti-bacterial gel dispensers line the halls of schools, welcome you at grocery stores, and sit suggestively on clerk’s counters. When most people think of oral bacteria, they imagine pathogens, negative disease-causing bacteria, and poor hygiene. When microbiologists think about oral bacteria, they imagine a thriving environment that resembles a forest. Our Richmond, CA, dentist, Dr. Stefan Moiceanu, will explain how oral bacteria react in your mouth and what we can learn about our oral health.

How Your Mouth Behaves Like an Ecosystem

Microbiologists have taken a recent interest in oral bacteria with studies to determine how they reside inside of our mouths. Their findings brought interesting information to light about the secret life of mouth bacteria. According to Dr. Bruce Paster of the Forsythe Institute, your mouth is a thriving ecosystem full of bacteria which live in specific niches of your mouth. For instance, the species of bacteria living on the top of your tongue is different from the species of bacteria that call the side of your tongue home.

Bacteria that Protects Your Mouth

With 10 to 50 billion oral bacteria present, not all bacteria are negative. In fact, many positive oral bacteria protect your mouth from pathogens like S. mutans which cause cavities, and Phorphyromonas Gingivalis , which causes gum disease. In a healthy mouth, the positive bacteria lay over your soft tissues in a thick carpet, shielding your oral health.

Why Smoking Contributes to Dental Health Problems

Smoker’s mouths are a different situation. The chemicals from smoking tobacco kill all of the positive bacteria in your mouth, allowing pathogens to thrive like weeds. As a result, smokers are more susceptible to oral cancer, gum disease, and tooth decay.

Preventing Cavities and Gum Disease

With more information pouring in about the microbiology in our mouths, scientists are trying to find ways to harness oral bacteria in a way that we can fight off infections and disease. In the mean time, our Richmond, CA, dentist, Dr. Moiceanu, recommends scheduling regular dental checkups and cleanings to avoid dental health issues.

Preventive Dentistry in Richmond, CA

For more information about preventive dentistry and how you can protect yourself from gum disease and cavities, contact our Richmond, CA dental office at 510-758-7222. At Hilltop Family Dental, we look forward to helping you and your family achieve optimal oral health.

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