Even if you cannot see, feel or taste them, your mouth plays host to hundreds of microorganisms, commonly referred to as oral bacteria. While most of these tiny oral bacteria are harmless, there are some strains that can affect your overall health and cause disease. It is critical that we control these harmful bacteria with good oral care practices: a healthy diet, effective personal oral hygiene, and regular visits to your dentist. Affinity Dental Care is open again and here to be your partner in maintaining your oral and overall health.
It may surprise you to learn that there are over 700 different strains of bacteria that have been detected in the human mouth. Most appear to be harmless to our overall health, in fact, some are actually beneficial. Some of these “healthy bacteria” are known as probiotics, and play a critical role in the digestion of foods. Additionally, there are other “good bacteria” that work to protect our teeth and gums. These good bacteria are part of a healthy oral microbiome.
There are some bacteria, however, that cause tooth decay, gum disease, and can affect our overall health. The two most common forms of harmful bacteria are Streptococcus mutans and Porphyromonas gingivalis. Streptococcus mutans is the most common harmful bacteria found in human mouths. It feeds on the sugars and starches that you eat and produce enamel-eroding acids — which is the main cause of tooth decay in humans. Porphyromonas gingivalis, on the other hand, is not usually present in a healthy mouth, but when it does appear, it can lead to serious health complications. “Bad bacteria” like Porphyromonas gingivalis can enter the bloodstream, allowing bacterial pathogens to flood the bloodstream, causing systemic inflammation. Porphyromonas gingivalis has also been shown to lead to periodontitis, a serious and progressive disease (also known as gum disease) that affects the tissues and bones that support the teeth and can cause significant dental pain and can eventually lead to tooth loss.
Because some forms of oral bacteria can have serious implications for your overall health, it is critical that we manage and control the bacteria in our mouths with good oral care. The most important thing you can do to maintain a healthy oral microbiome is to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once per day. Good daily oral healthcare routines can greatly minimize the source of food for harmful bacteria, which can in turn keep them from reproducing in your mouth and entering your bloodstream. Using an antibacterial mouthwash can also be helpful. Diet also plays an important role. It is best to avoid sugary and starchy foods, especially if you won’t have immediate access to a toothbrush.
Different kinds of bacteria are in everyone’s mouth, but it is imperative to keep them balanced in order to maintain a healthy oral microbiome. With good daily oral healthcare, and regular dental visits you can keep your mouth healthy for a lifetime. The Affinity Dental team is here to be partners in your oral and overall health, and we offer the latest in dental technology including dental lasers that destroy both bacteria and viruses with all our hygiene appointments. We treat all our patients with empathy, respect and honesty, and are proud to have been the community’s choice for dental care in La Mesa for many years.
Call 619-697-2800 or visit https://affinitydentaloflamesa.com to learn more about Affinity Dental and the general and cosmetic dentistry services we offer.
We accept most insurance plans and offer no interest financing.
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