Posted on: 14 November 2019Share
Your mouth is the scene of an ongoing war between the good oral bacteria and the bad oral bacteria. In a healthy mouth, flourishing, friendly bacteria keep harmful bacteria in check along with help from the powerful human immune system. However, many people aren't aware of this fact. Because of that, they unwittingly aid harmful bacterial strains while hindering the healthy strains.
Your Diet Affects Bacterial Growth
Too much sugar is bad for you in many ways. The harmful strains of bacteria in your mouth that cause tooth decay and gum disease thrive on sugar. This is because the simple sugars in processed foods, especially, are easy for bacterial strains like streptococcus mutans to break down and digest. Naturally, the more you give them, the faster they eat, which means the faster they multiply!
Unfortunately, the more of the harmful bacteria you have in your mouth, the less of the good bacteria are able to survive. Ultimately, your risk of tooth decay and gum disease increases. If your diet is rich in the following foods, then you are promoting bad bacteria.
- Sugary beverages (cola)
- Baked sweet foods (donuts)
- Candy (boiled sweets)
- Processed sugary snacks (chocolate bars)
But this isn't the only way you promote bad bacteria.
Your Oral Hygiene Habits Affect Bacterial Growth
Do you sometimes skip brushing your teeth before you go to sleep at night? Are you sometimes too busy in the morning to brush your teeth? If yes, then you are allowing harmful strains of bacteria to proliferate in your mouth. When you brush your teeth, you remove the nasty film that harmful bacteria create on your teeth. This rough film helps bad bacteria cling to your teeth.
While in this sticky, rough layer, harmful bacterial strains eat and breed, spreading from your teeth to your gums. If you fail to remove this layer within 4 days, your mouth will contain enough harmful bacteria to begin attacking your gums as well as your teeth. This could lead to enamel erosion and early gum disease or gingivitis, wherein your gums become inflamed.
Water is important, too.
Your Lack of Water Promotes the Growth of Harmful Bacteria
Harmful oral bacteria thrive in dry mouths. This is because your saliva helps you to fight off bad bacteria by killing them and washing them away from your teeth and gums. However, when you don't drink enough water, your saliva production decreases, leading to dry mouth. Thus, your lack of water leads to a lack of water, which in turn leaves you susceptible to attack from bad bacteria.
As you can see, it is up to you to keep bad bacteria at bay. Promote the good bacteria in your mouth and keep bad bacteria levels down by keeping the above habits in mind each day. Make a visit to a dentist who offers general dentistry services for a more thorough cleaning, too.