When considering how bacteria behave inside your mouth, it can best be compared to that of humans in a restaurant.
When eating, the human mouth provides nutrients for the bacteria that resides inside the mouth. Every time you take a sip of juice or soda, you are essentially feeding them. Every time you put something inside your mouth, the bacteria gets fed a wholesome meal.
Not only do humans feed the bacteria, but we also provide them with shelter, allowing them to grow and reproduce. While living inside our mouths, comfortable and fed, the bacteria makes loads of little plaque families that also call your mouth, home.
Furthermore, to increase comfort levels, the bacteria builds little homes inside your mouth that protects them from the natural plaque-fighting defences in your body. In the dental industry, these ‘homes’ are referred to as their extracellular matrix.
Like most living organisms, bacteria need to use the bathroom after consuming the food that we feed them.
Bacteria go to work, digesting their food through a process of glycolysis.
Once the food has gone through their digestive system, they have to get rid of it… and when they do, it gets let loose, all over the inside of your mouth and teeth.
Not only is this gross to think about, it is also very harmful to our dental health – the ‘waste product’ of bacteria contains a dangerous acid, called lactic acid. Lactic acid is very bad for your teeth and goes to work, dissolving the enamel on your teeth. This is how cavities, or dental caries, develop.
If this process is not treated, your teeth will decay in such a way that they will have to be replaced with an artificial tooth by a dentist.
However bad this may sound, there is some good news: You can use these proven methods to win the fight against the bacteria living inside your mouth.
Brush your teeth – Brushing your teeth is a great way to remove bacteria from your teeth. Once the bacteria and their extracellular matrix are removed, your saliva can go to work, restoring the enamel of your teeth.
Without brushing, the saliva is not able to get past the bacteria’s matrix and is thus unable to repair the enamel.
Floss Your Teeth – While regular brushing is very important, it is also important to note that a toothbrush cannot access all the areas of your mouth. Dental floss is needed to remove bacteria from these hard-to-reach areas.
Help Your Children – Young children cannot brush and floss effectively enough to remove all the bacteria from their teeth. Click here to read our guide about children and brushing.
While it is impossible to completely remove all the bacteria from your mouth, the steps above will help you keep them in check.
By not removing the plaque, the bacteria will grow to unhealthy levels that can cause serious health issues like gingivitis and dental cavities.
To book a FREE consultation to determine the damage done by bacteria in your mouth, contact us today!
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