This three-part article series takes a look at the various microorganisms that live in our mouth and how we can best manage and control them, effectively helping to prevent gum disease.
Welcome to the third and final installment of our series on oral bacteria. With the guidance of dentists in Colorado Springs, let’s take a look at some final interesting facts about the legions of microbes populating our mouths.
Common Conduits for Oral Bacteria
Did you know that lipstick, lip balm, band instruments, drinking glasses or any other item that comes into direct contact with the mouth is a conduit for bacteria and other infectious microbes? According to Colorado Springs dentists, you could be exposing yourself to potentially harmful microbes simply by sharing some lip balm with a friend! It’s never easy to deny a friend something they want, especially if it’s as seemingly innocent as lip balm, so the decision you face is whether to come across as mean or minimize your risk of swapping infections.
Tip: Tell them you recently suffered a nasty bout of stomach flu. That will solve your problem fast!
Antibacterial Mouthwashes Get the Thumbs Up for Addressing Halitosis
Anti-bacterial mouthwashes get the thumbs up from the ADA in their ability to combat bad breath, or halitosis. Apparently, most of these anti-bacterial mouthwashes offer a therapeutic benefit in reducing the numbers of oral bacteria that leads to plaque formation and ultimately, conditions such as gingivitis and bad breath. While not even a good swig of Listerine can prevent bad breath caused by eating too much garlic and onion, it can help to mask bad breath stemming from other causes. Remember, mouthwash doesn’t address the cause of bad breath, only the symptom. If you believe you suffer from halitosis, book an appointment with your dentist and get to the root of the problem.
Another Reason to Love Green Tea
Did you know that research has associated the consumption of green tea with healthier gums and cleaner teeth? Whether this is because the people who drink green tea tend to be more health conscious, or because the properties of the green tea itself are beneficial to oral health remains to be seen.
They’re Not All Bad Guys!
“Not all bacteria are bad for you,” explain Colorado Springs dentists. Many of the species of bacteria in your mouth are critical to the maintenance of good oral health. How? Certain species of bacteria secrete substances that actually kill off the bad kinds of bacteria. In fact, clinicians are trying to develop new toothpastes that make use of the “good” oral bacteria in trying to eliminate the “bad” kinds that lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
Plaque Under the Microscope
So as it turns out, bacteria aren’t invisible. In large enough numbers, you can actually view the legions of microorganisms that inhabit your mouth. Did you know that plaque IS bacteria? That whitish sticky substance you scrape off your teeth with your fingernail, especially after a sweet snack, is composed entirely of oral bacteria! Just one tooth can host up to 500 million bacteria. And, of course, plaque is the main cause of tooth decay and gum disease. This is why it’s so important to brush and floss regularly and thoroughly.
A Final Note
Living with bacteria is a fact of life. There are billions of them in our mouth and a good oral hygiene routine serves to keep them under control. Most of these bacteria are good for us, while only a few are bad. So, look after your teeth and book regular appointments with Colorado Springs dentists and you should be able to keep your mouth clean. Visibly clean, that’s it!