Oral Bacteria – What It Is and What To Do About It

There is a lot more in your mouth than just your tongue and teeth. Did you know that most of us are host to an average of 34 to 72 different types of bacteria colonies. Before you gasp in horror and run for the antimicrobial soap, take comfort in knowing that many of these bacteria aid in digestion or work to protect the teeth and gums. However, there are some not-so-friendly colonies that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, and it is these that Seven Lakes Dental in Smokey Point can help you keep under control.


The guiltiest culprit when it comes to tooth decay is streptococcus mutans. When you eat sugary or starchy foods, it is this bacteria that feeds on them. Worse still, it produces acids that erode the enamel on your teeth and lead to cavities, bad breath and gum disease.

Porphyromonas gingivalis, the other common bacteria, is not found in everyone’s mouth. It only appears when someone has periodontitis, a serious disease that attacks the tissues and bones that support and nurture the teeth. Over time, this progressive condition can lead to severe dental pain and eventual tooth loss.

Oral Bacteria Is Here To Stay

Like it or not, oral bacteria are here to stay. And once you have a particular strain it is difficult to eradicate it. That being said, there are things that you can do to keep the bad bacteria in check.

  • Brush your teeth– You don’t need to be a dental professional to know how important brushing is for your choppers. Use a manual or electric toothbrush to remove food particles and thereby deprive bacteria of their next meal.
  • Floss– It only takes a few minutes, it’s easy, and it’s inexpensive. Daily flossing removes food particles from between your teeth that you cannot reach with even the most diligent brushing. It also stimulates circulation to the gums promoting dental health.
  • Watch your diet– Steer clear of sweet or starchy foods, particularly when you don’t have access to a toothbrush. Also, breath mints and hard candies that are kept in the mouth for extended periods of time can provide a feast for your unwanted mouth guests. After eating or sucking on sugary or starchy foods take a minute to rinse out your mouth with water.  This will remove much of the residue that bacteria love so much.

If you practice these simple techniques, you can reduce the chances of unplanned visits to the dentist.  You can also reduce bad breath, tooth pain, and gum disease. The presence of oral bacteria is a fact of life that you will not be able to change. However, you can minimize the effects of the “bad guys” that can cause so much pain and damage. If you are concerned about how oral bacteria may be affecting your long-term dental health, call us at Seven Lakes Dental. Our caring professionals will answer all of your questions and give you the guidance you need to promote oral health.