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Posts Tagged ‘bacteria’

What You Should Know About The Bacteria In Your Mouth

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

Ever wonder what’s really floating around inside your mouth? Besides housing your pearly whites, your mouth serves as a home to many different microorganisms.

More specifically, there are more than 700 different strains of oral bacteria that exist. Don’t worry–for the most part, these tiny little guys do no harm. Additionally, most people only host roughly 60 different kinds of these bacteria (1).

 

Not All Bacteria is Bad

‘Bacteria’ tends to have a negative connotation, and people usually perceive the word as harmful. However, that’s not always the case. Some of your oral bacteria is actually good bacteria. These bacteria help protect your oral health in a number of different ways:

1. They Help Digest Your Food

It’s not just your stomach that digests your food—the digestion process actually begins in your mouth. Microorganisms called probiotics are responsible for triggering the enzymatic reaction that produces saliva, which in turn begins digestive action (2).

2. They Fight Oral Disease

Because these bacteria stimulate and improve saliva production, they play an important role in your oral health. Saliva helps wash away sugar, food bits, and unwanted germs—all of which can be harmful to your mouth’s health. This process aids in fighting off oral diseases such as periodontal disease, oral candida, and dental caries.

3. They Battle Bad Breath

Who wants to have bad breath? The answer: nobody. Good bacteria in your mouth fight the more aggressive bacteria that feed on food particles and produce an unwanted odor. So, you can thank these bacteria for keeping your breath fresh (2).

Some Bacteria is “Bad”

Unfortunately, there are some harmful bacteria, which can play a role in tooth decay and gum disease. There are two main harmful bacteria:

1. Porphyromonas Gingivalis

Although this is typically not found in healthy mouths, it can lead to a serious disease called periodontitis. This is a severe, progressive disease that attacks the alveolar bone and tissues that support your teeth. Periodontitis not only produces severe pain within the tooth, but can even lead to tooth loss!

2. Streptococcus Mutans

There are bad bacteria in a healthy mouth, too. You may already know about streptococcus mutans. These microorganisms are present in your mouth and are triggered by starches and sugars in your diet. Acting as the leading cause of tooth decay, streptococcus mutans produce an acid that erodes your enamel—which is the outer layer that protects your teeth (2).

 

How to Control the Bacteria

You can help your mouth fight off the bad bacteria by maintaining healthy oral hygiene habits.

Harmful bacteria form most predominately on the gum line and in between the teeth. This is why it’s imperative to floss (daily!) in these areas. In addition to flossing, brushing your teeth after each meal is also very important to fend off unwanted germs. This helps remove food particles, which is what the harmful bacteria feed on. Using an anti-bacterial mouthwash is another tool to strengthen your healthy oral bacteria while fighting off the bad.

Your diet also affects your oral bacteria. Avoiding starchy and sugary foods can help minimize the fuel source for harmful bacteria (2).

We Care About Your Total Health

One of the best ways to manage your oral bacteria is to schedule regular check-ups with your dentist. Teeth cleanings, oral examinations, and the eye of a professional are all tools in identifying risks for tooth decay and gum disease. We want to help customize your oral hygiene regimen to ensure you maintain a healthy smile!

Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500 to schedule a visit!

Sources/References

1. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/basics/mouth-and-teeth-anatomy/article/oral-bacteria-what-lives-in-your-mouth-0513

2. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/life-stages/adult-oral-care/article/mouth-bacteria-friend-or-foe-0316

Why Is It Called “Morning Breath?”

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Have you ever heard of “morning breath?” Ever wonder why it has that name—or why you yourself have experienced it?!

Well, first off, maybe because the medical term for bad breath is “halitosis!”

Bad breath—or halitosis if you prefer—happens for a number of reasons. First, as you probably know, we can get bad breath simply from an unclean mouth that simply needs a good brushing and flossing…

Other reasons for bad breath include:

  • Lifestyle. For example, smoking or chewing tobacco take away from your ability to have fresh breath!
  • Diet: think strong foods, like peppers, onionor garlic—all of which make it important to floss and brush after eating! Also drinks that leave a smelly odor or even coffee can lead to halitosis.
  • Medical conditions, including problems with postnasal drip or conditions that lead to an increased amount of bacteria in the mouth, have been shown to be the third cause of bad breath. Also medications that lead to dry mouth can also increase the problem.

Do any of these sound familiar to you? Talking to your dentist can help you identify where your problem might be!

Part of the reason consistency is so important when it comes to your oral health is a regular brushing and flossing will help prevent the plaque on your teeth that lead to bad breath…another way of looking at this is that just one good brush and flossing won’t always do the trick for your bad breath. Instead, it’s about consistently taking care of teeth and gums so that plaque doesn’t build up!

This is also why many people will use tongue scrapers, which help remove bacteria and other food that your toothbrush isn’t as effective at removing! Or perhaps you’ve even used mouthwash…

Now that we know some of the underlying causes of bad breath—why is it called morning breath, anyway?

There are millions of bacteria that live in your mouth—and when the mouth is dry, they thrive. And, as you sleep, your saliva is less able to wash away these bacteria. So, as your mouth is in one of its driest states, the bacteria create sulfer compounds in your mouth…leaving you in the morning with—well, bad breath!

Altogether, the combination of a dryer-than-normal mouth, and bacteria, can lead to stinky breath when you wake up. Since that breeding ground isn’t something we can easily change, it’s no wonder so many of us have had it at one time or another.

If you feel you’ve been doing your diligence with brushing and flossing, and you still suffer from persistent bad breath, talk to your dentist! It can be an embarrassing issue—but luckily, you can fix it.

Interested in some of the natural ways to treat bad breath? Or just not sure what’s the cause of your long-term bad breath? Come in to Hagen Dental so you can feel great about your smile.  Visit our website here: hagendds.com If you’re already a patient, be sure to “like” us on Facebook.

 

Preventing the Flu Starts with Healthy Oral Habits

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

In the midst of flu season, many of us will rely on vitamins and supplements, washing our hands, getting enough sleep, and hydrating to stay healthy. These are all great, but there’s another, somewhat overlooked, prevention that is as simple as keeping a clean toothbrush!

We want to help you prevent the flu and those nasty colds! On our Facebook
page we’ve asked how long you should wait to change your toothbrush. The answer: two to three months. If you’ve never been especially great at remembering to switch out your toothbrush for a new one, try using the change of seasons as a reminder. You can even put a quick note on your calendar.

We house and produce hundreds of microorganisms in our mouth that can be transferred to our toothbrush when we brush our teeth. (So that means at least twice a day, we are encountering these microorganisms!)

When you’re sick, it’s important to store your toothbrush away from others and to replace your toothbrush immediately after you are well again. Even it toothbrushes are not touching, airborne bacteria from sneezing and coughing move easily!

The best ways to ensure your brush remains clean throughout its lifespan include:

  • Don’t share your toothbrush with others.
  • Rinse your toothbrush with hot water and remove any excess saliva, food, or toothpaste.
  • Don’t cover toothbrush head for extended period of times – it creates a moist environment where bacteria thrive.
  • Always store brush in upright position.
  • Keep multiple toothbrushes separate.

Remember to wash your hands before and after you brush your teeth as your hands are coming into contact with your mouth as well! (Also note, that in addition to preventing the flu and cold this season, washing your hands can also prevent oral inflammatory disease.)

Last but not least, remember to brush your tongue and to floss! You miss the equivalent of about one third of your teeth surface area when you don’t – so you’re leaving all that bacteria in there to grow and deteriorate your oral and overall heath.

If you have any questions regarding these pointers, ask on our Facebook or Twitter, or give us a call at 513.251.5500! We’re always happy to help.