Its All About The Numbers For Bacteria In Your Mouth!
Did you know there are a billion bacteria in 1 cubic millimeter?
Plaque, also known as biofilm, IS bacteria!
Now, think about if you miss a day or two of flossing, or brushing or any part of your oral home care routine. You start to feel a sticky film or coating on the surfaces in your mouth. That’s biofilm, which we know is bacteria with the addition of a sticky matrix to make it all interesting.
Most home care recommendations made by dental professionals are made, to reduce the amount of bacteria found in your mouth. Brushing with a soft toothbrush helps to reduce the amount of bacteria found on many of the surfaces of your teeth. Flossing, water flossers, soft picks etc help to reduce the amount of plaque found between the teeth. Some find that using an electric toothbrush or other devices aid the overall clean healthy feeling in their mouth.
Now, why do we care about plaque?
Plaque is responsible for causing tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath. We all have bacteria in our mouths. Our goal is to limit the over growth of the biofilm to reduce our risk associated with bacteria. You see, it’s all about the numbers! The more plaque we have, the more our risk for unwanted disease increases. In addition, not all bacteria are created equal. Through research, we have identified specific bacteria as causing cavities verses gum disease. Strep mutans has long been known for being responsible for cavities. Strep Mutans is one of the billions of microbes that have been identified as of today.
I know I didn’t get to pick which bacteria I have in my mouth! None of us did! While we cannot control which microbes are in our mouth, we can certainly make a difference in the number of bacteria containing biofilm we have. Establishing and maintaining a home care routine is critical to reducing the risk of cavities, gum disease and bad breath. In addition to home care, a professional dental cleaning is an important piece of overall oral health. Efforts to reduce biofilm also reduce our risk of tooth loss and decay.