Bacteria and Its Impact on Oral Health

The jury about the count of oral bacteria is still out. However, there are 700 types of bacteria which are normally present in our mouths. And 20 million among all these bacteria are usually present on our teeth, tongue, and in saliva. And it’s also worth mentioning that oral bacteria have the capability to double their amount in every 5 hours. But the natural system of saliva production and replacement washes away the crowd and normalizes the balance almost consistently. In the night time, the production of saliva gets decreased. This is the time when bacteria in the mouth flourish.

Here, it is worth mentioning that not all types of bacteria are harmful. The majority of oral bacteria tend to coexist with the bad bacteria and viruses in order to maintain healthy bacterial balance in the mouth. In fact, many types of bacteria are actually beneficial in this regard. Nevertheless, there are few types which create problems. And those few are quite stronger and efficient. Hence, it may take considerable amount of time for you to fight off bad bacteria in your mouth.

Sugar as the main culprit

You may love the sugary treats and sweets but you need to keep in mind that you provide bacteria with their favorite fuel, the fermentable carbohydrates, every time you consume sugar. Basically, sugar is an energy source which most of the living beings can use, and bacteria use this energy source to the fullest. By consuming sugar, bacteria lay an acid which interacts with the teeth, resulting in the thinning and weakening of tooth enamel. The process can lead to tooth decay and, ultimately, cavities.

It can be demonstrated with an example. If you pour down acid on the concrete floor, you may be able to see the concrete dissolving. This is exactly what happens to the teeth enamel when it is exposed to acid laid by oral bacteria. Remember, it doesn’t happen overnight. The weakening of tooth enamel is a process which is carried out with the consistent interaction of acid with tooth enamel. And it normally does a lot of damage before the problem becomes noticeable.

And, there are other types of bacteria which sit in the gum line and do the damage to the gums by releasing waste. Such bacteria can damage the tooth and the associated jawbone.

Now, you may wonder why everyone doesn’t have cavities even after the consumption of more sugary foods as compared to the ones who do not consume much of those foods. Well, the answer to this question is that the bacteria balance is different in different people. It also depends upon the strength of immune system. However, one should not consume more of sugary foods just because he/she feels to have strong immune system.

In the end, it is worth mentioning that you should visit your dentist every now and then. Normally, it is recommended for everyone to visit the dentist in every 6 months. However, you should consider frequent visits if you feel the problem rising in your oral cavity.