Bacteria and Your Dental Health

Did you know that most dental health problems are caused by bacterium? When bacteria builds up in your mouth and on the surfaces of your teeth and gums in the form of plaque, it can lead to a variety of dental health issues including periodontal disease, tooth decay and bad breath. So how does the harmful bacteria get into your mouth in the first place?

Bacterium lives in your mouth naturally and also occurs when the foods you eat are broken down. Most bacteria are harmless and can be handled by your body’s natural defenses and good oral hygiene. Plaque is a sticky grouping of bacteria that lives on gum tissue, teeth and crowns. When you eat foods or beverages with sugars or starches, the bacteria release acids that attack your tooth enamel. The plaque is so sticky that is keeps the acids in contact with your teeth. In time, this causes the enamel to break down and can lead to tooth decay.

You may be wondering how you can prevent the build up of harmful bacteria in your mouth. The best way is to practice good daily oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth thoroughly at least two times per day and flossing your teeth thoroughly at least one time per day. Rinsing your mouth or brushing your teeth after eating starchy or sugary foods can also help to prevent harmful bacteria from building up on the surfaces of your teeth and gums. Visiting your dentist every six months for a professional dental cleaning can also serve to remove harmful plaque from the surfaces in your mouth. Lastly, replacing your toothbrush when it is worn out will ensure that it is effective in removing plaque and bacteria from your mouth.

If you have gums that are swollen, red or bleed easily, it could be a sign of periodontal disease. If you have pain or sensitivity surrounding a tooth, it could be a sign of tooth decay. Don’t risk your long-term dental health by failing to get treatment. Visit your dentist today for a proper diagnosis and timely treatment so you can prevent serious, costly and painful dental health problems from occurring in the future.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Hye Park, Green Dental of Alexandria

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