Oral Bacteria: Your friend and foe
Our mouths are a home for billions of bacteria. The Journal of Bacteriology reports that, currently, about 700 species of bacteria have been identified in the human mouth. Many of these organisms live a symbiotic relationship with us, but others can be harmful and are associated with life-threatening conditions, such as fetal infections, heart attack and stroke.
One of the most well-known is streptococcal mutans, better known as s. mutans. It lives in our mouths, loves the sugary drinks and carbohydrates we eat and then spits acid on our teeth causing tooth decay. S. mutans is transmissible, especially to babies and young children and often innocently by a kiss from a parent or caregiver.
At Lake Grove Dental, we have a simple test to determine the bacterial load in the mouth. Some people have low scores, usually indicating they have had less exposure to bacteria and better home care techniques. Mouthwashes can also affect the readings. Be aware, though, that mouth rinses that contain alcohol will eliminate all bacteria, the good and the bad. There are many alternatives to the alcohol based rinses that help eliminate s. mutans and other harmful bacteria. We keep a variety of these in stock.
If you are someone who feels that you are always getting cavities, yet you have regular checkups and good homecare, then perhaps s. mutans is the culprit. A few simple changes to your diet and tooth care regime may be all you need!
Lake Grove Dental
16455 Boones Ferry Rd.
Lake Oswego, OR 97035