We often talk about how the bacteria in your mouth can lead to gingivitis. And, if left untreated could lead to periodontal disease. That is why we stress the importance of good oral hygiene. Brushing, flossing, and rinsing your mouth out to ensure you remove the bad bacteria from your mouth. But, is there good bacteria in your mouth?
Yes! While there are the few bad types of bacteria in your mouth that cause plaque, tartar, and decay there are actually millions of other types of bacteria that are fairly benign. Plus, a recent study showed that some of these bacteria are healthy bacteria that protects your teeth and gums from unhealthy bacteria.
Dr. Aaron Weinberg, a dental researcher at Case Western Reserve University, has been investigating these good bacteria for many years. His research began with a scientific conundrum: The mouth has one of the highest densities of bacterial populations. So, why do wounds in the mouth tend to heal quickly? He found that certain bacteria trigger the production of human Beta Defensins (HBD’s). These cells are found in the lining of the mouth and are natural antibiotics against disease.
So, what can we do to increase good bacteria in your mouth? First, you can eat more plant-based foods. Eating more fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains helps promote a more balanced oral environment. Next, cut back on sugar. A high sugar diet can cause an impact on our oral bacteria, encouraging the growth of acid-loving bacteria. These types of bacteria cause cavities and periodontal disease as well as inhibit good bacteria. Last, avoid acidic foods and drinks. Acidity is the enemy of our teeth. The acidity levels in your mouth can cause an imbalance of microorganisms which upsets your good bacteria.
Here at Ledbetter Dental Care in Ardmore, OK and Wynnewood, OK, we can help educate you on the good bacteria in your mouth and how you can help encourage the good bacteria and get rid of the bad bacteria. If it has been a while since your last visit, be sure to schedule an appointment with us today.