How LMHD Dental Can Help You Keep a Healthy Bacterial Balance

You might not be able to see them, feel them or taste them, but your mouth is home to hundreds of microorganisms, commonly referred to as oral bacteria. But don’t be alarmed to hear that your mouth is host to entire colonies of bacteria, most of these tiny oral bacteria are actually harmless to our health. Some strains, however, can have serious implications for your health and can cause disease. That’s why it is so important that we manage the bacterial balance in our mouths- our oral microbiome- with good oral care practices, a healthy diet, and regular visits to your dentist. La Mesa Hills Dentistry has reopened for dental check-ups and, as always, we are here to be your partner in your oral and overall health.

Did you know there have been over 700 different strains of bacteria detected in the human mouth? Most people, however, are only host to 34 to 72 different varieties, and most of these bacterial species appear to be harmless to our health. Some of these bacteria are actually beneficial to our health! “Healthy bacteria,” also known as probiotics, play a critical role in the breakdown and digestion of foods. There are also other “good bacteria” that work to protect our teeth and gums. These good bacteria are part of a healthy oral microbiome.

Some bacteria, however, are harmful to our bodies as they cause tooth decay and gum disease. Streptococcus mutans and Porphyromonas gingivalis are the two most common forms of harmful bacteria found in human mouths. Streptococcus mutans is the most common harmful; this bacteria lives in your mouth and feeds on the sugars and starches that you eat. Streptococcus mutans produces enamel-eroding acids, making it the main cause of tooth decay in humans. On the other hand, Porphyromonas gingivalis is not usually present in a healthy mouth, but it can lead to serious health complications when it does appear. These “bad bacteria” can enter the bloodstream and cause systemic inflammation. Porphyromonas gingivalis has been shown to lead to periodontitis, also known as gum disease. Periodontitis is a serious and progressive disease that affects the tissues and bones that support the teeth; it can cause significant dental pain, even eventually leading to tooth loss.

It is so important that we manage the balance of bacteria in our mouths with good oral healthcare in order to mitigate serious implications for our overall health. So what can you do to maintain a healthy oral microbiome? The most important thing you can do is brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once per day. Maintaining a good daily oral healthcare routine can greatly minimize the source of food for harmful bacteria, which in turn can keep them from reproducing in your mouth. Using an antibacterial mouthwash can also help keep a healthy balance of bacteria in your mouth. Diet is very important as well; it is best to avoid sugary and starchy foods, especially if you won’t have immediate access to a toothbrush. Other foods have been shown to promote healthy bacteria, and eating those can help keep your teeth and mouth healthy.

A healthy mouth contains bacteria, but it is imperative to keep oral bacteria balanced in order to maintain a healthy oral microbiome. With regular dental visits and good daily oral healthcare, you can keep your mouth healthy for a lifetime. The LMHD team is here to be your partner in your oral and overall health, and Dr. Fjeldsted and his staff have always made the community’s comfort and convenience their top priority. Give us a call at 619-469-2902 or click here to book an appointment today!