Did you know that you have over 700 different species of bacteria in your mouth?
While this may sound alarming, not all of the bacteria in your mouth are bad. Some are actually beneficial to your oral health. Your oral microbiome begins at birth and continues to evolve throughout your life. While the bad bacteria can cause cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues, the good bacteria actually protect your mouth.
Given that many people hear “bacteria” and assume it’s harmful, you may not know much about the bacteria in your mouth, aside from the fact that the bad bacteria can lead to decay. Here are some interesting facts about your oral microbiome to help you understand its ecosystem and how it impacts your mouth better. Let’s jump into it!
#1. Good Bacteria Improves Your Overall Health
It’s impossible to get rid of all the bacteria in your mouth, and that’s a good thing. Some strands of bacteria actually improve your overall health. As such, you actually want to foster the growth of helpful bacteria in your mouth.
Some of the ways that these bacteria can help you include:
- Improved digestion. Digestion starts in your mouth as you chew and break down food. Your saliva has good bacteria in it that helps break apart sugars and proteins. They also protect you from harmful bacteria in food.
- Protection from cavities. Bad bacteria eat away at your teeth, leading to decay. The bacteria in your saliva help to wash away bad bacteria, which provides you with protection from cavities.
- Freshened breath. Since bad breath is the result of the buildup of bad bacteria, when good bacteria fights against it and washes it away with saliva, this helps to control bad breath.
Your oral health plays an important role in your overall health. Poor oral health can result in issues such as: pregnancy and birth complications, pneumonia, rheumatoid arthritis, and more.
#2. Vice Versa: Your Overall Health Can Impact Your Oral Health
Some health problems can impact your oral health and through your oral microbiome out of a healthy balance. For instance, people with diabetes can’t control their blood sugar. This results in an overgrowth of the bad bacteria in your mouth.
Similarly, if you don’t eat a healthy diet and drink lots of sugary drinks, this gives the bad bacteria in your mouth plenty to feast on. If you brush your teeth right after having something acidic, you can damage your enamel. An unhealthy diet allows harmful bacteria to lay claim to your mouth, leading to an increased risk of gum disease, cavities, and even tooth loss.
On the other hand, if you stick to a healthy diet and drink more water than anything else, this can help to flush out bad bacteria and promote the growth of good bacteria. When you drink enough water, your body is able to produce a healthy saliva flow, which protects your teeth from erosion.
#3. An Imbalanced Oral Microbiome Is The Primary Cause Of Tooth Decay
When bad bacteria dominate your oral microbiome, you are more likely to suffer from oral health problems. This can occur for a number of different reasons, from a poor diet to not drinking enough water to poor oral hygiene. In order to maintain the balance in your mouth, you must ensure that you brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day, and that you see your dentist for your regular dental cleanings every 6 months.
In some cases, genetic factors play a role in your risk for cavities and other such oral health issues. This is more of a predisposition, not a guarantee that you’re doomed to have oral health problems. Regardless of whether or not your family has a history of lots of cavities and gum disease, the most common factor in oral health problems is poor oral hygiene and an imbalanced oral microbiome.
To decrease your risk of tooth decay, ensure that you do what you can to maintain a healthy mouth. If ever you have any questions about what you specifically should do to prevent oral health problems, contact your dentist. They will be able to provide you with informed answers and personalized advice for your specific concerns.
Dental Services In Syracuse, UT
VIP Smiles provides dental services to help you with your oral health. From regular cleanings to orthodontics to cosmetic dentistry and more, our dedicated professionals are here to ensure that you receive top-notch services. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!