Not all bacteria are bad for you. However, almost all oral bacteria are harmful to your teeth and gums and need to just go away. To discover why bacteria in your mouth has such a bad reputation, read on and find out more.
Bacteria and Mouths: Naturally Attracted to Each Other
The human mouth is damp, warm, and sweet (pH-wise). Those three environmental conditions are the most attractive for bacteria to grow and thrive. You can do everything right and bacteria will always still be present in your mouth. While you cannot eliminate it completely, healthy dental practices not only reduce the number of bacteria present but also allows your dentist to catch problems caused by bacteria quickly before more harm is inflicted on your teeth and gums.
When Bacteria Takes Over
If bacteria is allowed to remain in your mouth for too long, you will develop plaque. Plaque can be thought of as an acid that forms from bacteria and it will cling stubbornly to your teeth and gums when that happens. Plaque is bad news for teeth because it can cause cavities. It's also bad news for your gums because it promotes gum diseases like gingivitis or worse.
A cavity can form and worsen in very little time if left untreated. What might be a tiny, invisible crack or hole can be large enough for bacteria to enter the tooth and cause a gum infection. A decayed tooth destroys itself from within. Soon, the decayed tooth literally falls to pieces and leaves a gaping hole in your smile. These gaps only encourage more damage to the surrounding teeth. What began as bacteria in the mouth is now responsible for a missing tooth or more.
The other way bacteria affects your mouth is by attacking your gums. If bacteria enters your gums, it can create an infection that can cause an abscess. That, in turn, can cause a body-wide infection that might be life-threatening for some. Also, an infected gum will destroy the jawbones that support the bottom half of your face. Bone loss from gum disease is permanent.
To prevent all of the above bacterial issues, take these steps:
- If medication causes your mouth to be dry, take steps to add moisture back using a special rinse. Keep your mouth moisturized so that bacteria can be rinsed away.
- Pay special attention to your gum line when brushing.
- Don't skip a visit with your dental hygenist or dentist.
To learn more about oral bacteria and how to combat it, reach out to a dentist clinic near you.