The role bacteria plays in our health has shown to be a surprisingly complex issue. Who knew that there could be such a thing as "good" bacteria? Unfortunately, bacteria is still a problematic issue when it comes to oral health, so read on to find out more about why it's so important to keep the mouth as free of bad bacteria as possible.
Today's Bacteria is Tomorrow's Plaque
No matter how obsessive you might be about oral cleanliness, bacteria will persist. You can, however, take steps to eliminate as much as you can and not allow the bacteria to take up a permanent residence in your mouth. When you think about it, you can understand why it's so easy for bacteria to live and multiply in your mouth – it's wet, warm, and the pH balance tends to be on the sweet side.
We do have some defenses at the ready beyond the usual brushing, flossing, and rinsing. The saliva in your mouth is custom-made for naturally washing out the bacteria on a regular basis. Unfortunately, if your mouth is dry from medication or other reasons, or the bacteria is not removed properly, it can form plaque. You can imagine that plaque is like an acid ready to bond with the surface of your teeth. The result: cavities and gum diseases.
Banish Bacteria and Deal with Plaque
Since no one wants to deal with cavities and most everyone knows how bad gum diseases can be, it's important to fight bacteria and to have plaque removed. After all, serious gum disease can cause permanent damage to your jawbones and lead to a sagging appearance. Additionally, some gum diseases can be life-threatening to those with weakened immune systems. To take action, follow these tips:
- When brushing, concentrate your efforts on the gum line. This is the place where bad things can enter your gums and many people neglect this area. Be careful, however, not to abrade the skin and create more problems. Use a soft brush and a gentle touch.
- Your saliva production can slow during the night so it's extra important that you floss well before you hit the sheets. You don't want those germs partying all night and causing damage while you sleep. Speaking of saliva production, you can help increase the flow by eating plenty of fresh fruit and veggies.
- Finally, don't put off your regular professional cleanings and visits. Your dental hygienist is aces at spotting plaque build-ups before they go on to cause more problems.
Talk to your family dentist for more help.