Strange things – the ecosystem living in your mouth

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The Human Mouth

the human mouth

The human mouth is the most unclean or one of the most bacteria-filled parts of the body, other than the obvious…we’ll let you come to your own conclusions about that. Because bacteria are living organisms, the human mouth has a fully functioning ecosystem, meaning your mouth is someone else’s home. The mouths ecosystem has hundreds of different species of bacteria, which make up hundreds of thousands of bacteria living in your mouth.

Living with Guests

Bacteria are organisms just like humans and ‘they’ eat, multiply (reproduce) digest and more. Did you know that these different types of bacteria do all of this while living inside your mouth? Oral bacteria also live off of the food that you eat, especially sugars and starchy carbohydrates… how nice of you to share? The important thing to know is that not all bacteria found in your mouth is harmful or bad. There are both good bacteria and bad bacteria, which can help, hinder and affect your health and that goes beyond your oral health too.

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Bad Bacteria

 bad-bacteria

Too many bad bacteria in the mouth can cause problems to our oral health and overall health. Here’s how bad bacteria can affect….

Teeth

When bacteria feed on foods and sugars in our mouths they create acids. Even though your teeth are the strongest part of your body, these acids can erode tooth enamel, which is the hard outer layer that protects each tooth. This causes cavities or holes which decay teeth. Tooth decay can be treated by root canal treatment, although if this is not successful the tooth may need to be extracted.

Gums

An accumulation of bad bacteria can make the gums irritated and inflamed, this is called ‘gingivitis’. If this is not treated this can develop into ‘periodontitis’ which is gum disease. Gum disease can cause receding gums, tooth loss and in severe cases bone loss.

Oral diseases and more

Poor oral health and a buildup of bad bacteria can cause oral diseases and infections.

Good Bacteria

 good-bacteria

All the bacteria in our mouths are not all bad; some are good like probiotic bacteria, which can help fight or balance the bad bacteria. Some bacteria found in the mouth are also completely benign – meaning ‘they’ are completely neutral, not affecting us in any way.

So what can we do about bad bacteria?

Oral hygiene.

Looking after our oral health is very important to our health. Here are some of the things that you can do to maintain good oral hygiene and fight against bad bacteria:

Brush your teeth at least twice a day.

Between meals is even better!

Floss your teeth at least once a day.

Did you know that if you don’t floss your teeth your actually only brushing around 60% of each tooth? And that’s if you’re brushing properly (for at least 2 minutes).

Mouthwash.

This one is optional, but there are many benefits to adding it to your oral health regime. It helps keep teeth clean and antibacterial mouthwash helps fight bad bacteria.

Eating a balanced diet.

This is good for your oral health as well as your general health. “Eating sweets will rot your teeth” is not an old wives tale. It really will if you overdo it, of course, sugar is OK in moderation.

Regular dental health check-ups.

Seeing your dentist every 6 months is important, they can help you maintain as well as look after your oral health. They can also book you hygienist appointments if you need a professional clean.

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