October 27, 2019
Living in a land of antibacterial gels, soaps, plastics, and even fabrics, it might surprise you to hear that tons of bacteria live in your mouth every day, and they aren’t all bad! In fact, some play an important role in keeping up your overall health.
Some oral bacteria, however, can cause serious problems and must be fought with good oral hygiene. Portales dentist Peter L. Thompson, DDS, would like to help you understand the role bacteria play in your health and wellness.
What are Bacteria?
Bacteria are very small organisms made of just one single cell. That’s compared to over 37 trillion cells in the human body! Bacteria have their own DNA and they need sources of energy (food) just like you do. Nearly 700 different kinds of bacteria can live in your mouth, but most people only have 34-72 types present at any given time.
What Do Bacteria Do?
Of all the bacteria in your mouth, some are good, some are bad, and some simply neutral. The good bacteria – called probiotics – assist with digestion, which begins in the mouth. The bad bacteria, however, can cause tooth decay and severe gum disease[LINK]. The following three kinds of bacteria are on the Most Wanted list for being known to harm your oral health: