Did you know over 700 species of bacteria are inside your mouth? Before you start to panic, a Solana Beach dentist is here to reassure you that not all of these bacteria are responsible for causing tooth decay and gum disease. Some of them are naturally occurring microorganisms that won’t cause any harm to your oral health and well-being. 

a woman points to her healthy smile after seeing a Solana Beach Dentist

A Closer Look at the Different Types of Bacteria Living in Your Mouth 

Good Bacteria

Probiotics 

Probiotics are live beneficial microorganisms and yeasts occurring naturally in your mouth. These are good bacteria that help keep your body healthy by fighting off bad bacteria when they knock your system out of balance. Probiotics restore balance by eliminating harmful bacteria.   

Bad Bacteria

Streptococcus Mutans 

You’ve probably heard about Streptococcus mutans, the bacteria that live in areas that are difficult to clean, such as the pits and fissures on your teeth. Besides leaving behind a sticky yellowish waste product called plaque, these bacteria secrete acids after feeding on the sugars and starches you consume. The acids they produce eat away at the enamel and cause dental decay and cavities.   

Porphyromonas Gingivalis 

If you have a healthy mouth, you won’t have to worry about Porphyromonas gingivalis. These microbes only appear when you have periodontitis. Periodontitis refers to a serious form of gum disease marked by dental pain, gums pulling away from the tooth, and bone loss. However, it’s important to note that along with Porphyromonas gingivalis, several other bacteria can also cause this inflammatory condition.  

Treponema Denticola 

A spirochete bacterium called Treponema denticola is also associated with periodontitis. Since these bacteria are anaerobic, they can survive without oxygen. Moreover, they infiltrate the areas around the gum line and produce toxins that cause gum inflammation.  

These bacteria multiply until they break down the connective tissue and bone surrounding the teeth. It’s only a matter of time before they cause teeth to loosen and fall out.  

How to Manage Harmful Oral Bacteria 

The crevices of your tongue, the parts of your inner cheeks, and the back of your throat are home to different species of microorganisms. Although colonies of microbes collect throughout your mouth, most of them accumulate on your teeth and gums each time you consume anything that isn’t water. The good news is that you can do a few things to reduce the bad bacteria that take up residence along your gum line and between your teeth. 

Maintain Proper Oral Hygiene Practices 

One of the best ways to prevent bad bacteria from thriving in your mouth is proper oral hygiene. Be sure to brush at least twice a day, floss at least once daily, and rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash.  

Watch What You Eat 

The more sugar and starches you provide for harmful bacteria to feast on, the more they secrete harmful acids that erode your tooth enamel and cause cavities. If you’re looking to control harmful oral bacteria, it’s best to cut down on your intake of sweets and starchy foods. 

Schedule Regular Dental Visits 

Seeing your dentist at least twice a year can help you steer clear of oral health issues that affect your teeth, gums, and overall health and well-being.  

a Solana Beach Dentist examines a patient's mouth

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At Inspire Smiles, we are dedicated to caring for you using expert-level aesthetic skills and state-of-the-art technology in a clean and comfortable environment. Contact us today to make an appointment.