It’s believed that there are over 700 types of bacteria that live in your mouth, and about 20 billion of these organisms linger on teeth, in your saliva, and on the lining of your mouth. And these bacteria produce rapidly; doubling their population every 5 hours. Think about how your teeth feel like they’ve grown a shag carpet when you wake up in the morning and bacteria is the culprit. Saliva washes bacteria away when you’re awake, but your saliva output drops at night. Without the buffering and cleansing of this protective liquid, the micro-organisms flourish.
The majority of bacteria play a helpful role in a balanced ecosystem and coexist with viruses, fungi, and protozoa. But like any community, a few of the bad guys can stir up issues that affect us. Many people are surprised to learn that both cavities and gum disease are really an infection, spurred on by a few strains of harmful bacteria.
It All Begins With Sugar
Bacteria need energy to survive, just like any living organism. Fermentable carbohydrates deliver their favorite fuel, and various forms of sugar provide the ideal power source to metabolize into energy. These bacteria then flood the surfaces of the teeth and gums with a toxic mix of acidic waste.
Have you ever seen acid being poured on concrete? If so, then you have a strong visual of what bacterial waste does to your teeth. The hard outer layer of enamel erodes away over time as a steady supply of acid attacks the heavily mineralized surface. A cavity starts to open in the tooth, and significant damage may before anyone knows what’s happening.
Under the gums, bacteria may settle in and their waste damages the gum lining and causes a rush of inflammation from the immune system. Bleeding gums are like an open door that invites bacteria deeper into the body. The whole toxic, inflammatory mix can cause the bone to dissolve around teeth and aggravate general health problems.
Why Do Some People Get Cavities…And Some Don’t?
Even in the same family where each person has similar diets and oral hygiene habits, it’s not unusual to find various levels of tooth decay in each person. Different people have different bacterial populations, and not everyone has been infected with the same organisms. Also, some people produce critical antibodies that destroy these disease-causing bacteria. On the oral battlefield, the organisms don’t get much of a chance to thrive when the right immune system factors attack them.
Anyone can develop a plan to control the destructive organisms responsible for cavities and gum disease, regardless of the bacterial mix, Good habits such as tooth brushing and flossing form the cornerstone to disrupting bacterial plaque. But adding prescription rinses, xylitol products, water irrigators, protective varnishes, fluoride trays, and other innovative methods can make a dramatic difference in a person’s dental story.
Helping You Fight The Good Fight
At Seattle Dental Studio we’re focused on developing a preventive approach that’s as unique as you are. By partnering with our dental hygiene team, you’ll gain an advantage that helps you overcome bacteria, genetics, and past history.
With the right approach, you can send harmful bacteria on their way and enjoy a lifetime of good dental health!