There are many simple things we all can do do improve our dental health and hygiene. One is to see William J. Stewart DDS in San Antonio for a cleaning and checkup every six months.
Another thing involves bacteria, and everyone’s mouth has a lot of it.
But, don’t worry, bacteria per se isn’t the problem. Dental problems occur when the balance of bacteria becomes unhealthy.
Not all bacteria do harm. Streptococcus mutans is the one that causes the most tooth decay. It’s present all over the inside of your mouth. They increase in number after coming in contact with sugar, and begin to secrete the acids that damage tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay.
Two other types of bacteria can survive without oxygen, and are the bacteria most associated with gum disease. They are known as Treponema denticola and Porphyromonas gingivalis, and produce toxins that disrupt cultures of oral bacteria that usually do no harm. If they get beneath the gum line they can break down bone and connective tissue. In time, this causes teeth to loosen, possibly to the point where removal is necessary.
Fortunately, bacteria can be kept under control with proper brushing and flossing, as well as trips to the dentist twice a year. The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every three to four months. If you can avoid the unhealthy balance of bacteria in your mouth, you can avoid gum disease and tooth decay, as well as bad breath.