Do You Know What Lives in Your Mouth?

Posted on : 02-11-2014 | By : Haddon Suttner | In : Oral Health

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It may sound bizarre, but it is the fact that your mouth is home to a number of microscopic creatures. You can’t see them, feel them or taste them, yet your mouth hosts groups of microorganisms. About 650 species of bacteria reside in this “microbiome”. Most of these tiny oral creatures do us no harm, there are other species in the mix that are disease causing and can affect our health and need to be controlled with a healthy diet, good oral care practices and regular visits to your dentist.



In a study published online in Genome Research (, scientists have performed the first global survey of salivary microbes, finding that the oral microbiome of your neighbor is just as different from yours as someone across the globe.

Most Common Harmful Bacteria

Streptococcus mutans is the bacteria which most of the people normally heard about. It lives in your mouth and feeds on the sugars and starches present in the food. Eating sugar and starch is not a problem itself. However, as a by-product it produces enamel-eroding acids, which make streptococcus mutans the main cause of tooth decay in humans.

Porphyromonas gingivalis is usually not present in a healthy mouth, but when it does appear, it has been strongly linked to periodontitis. Periodontitis is a serious and progressive disease that affects the tissues and the alveolar bone that support the teeth. It is not a disease to be taken lightly. It can cause substantial dental ache, and can result in tooth loss.

Handling Bacteria

It is better to take care of your mouth and dental health, before the bacteria hit you oral health. You can manage and control the bacteria in your mouth with good oral care. Brushing after each meals and flossing once per day can cut off the supply of food to the harmful bacteria. This stops the reproduction of bacteria in the mouth. Antibacterial mouthwash can also be used to control the bacteria growth.

Diet plays an important role in managing bacteria. Avoiding sugary and starchy foods helps constrain bacterial growth. Eating foods that are known to promote healthy bacteria will help you keep your teeth and mouth healthy for a lifetime.

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