Do Healthy People Really Have Bacteria in Their Mouths?

Posted on: June 1, 2018

BacteriaRegardless of how good your oral hygiene is, there are always millions of bacteria in your mouth at all times. Most of these bacteria are harmless, but there are certain species that can lead to diseases and other oral health issues. Fortunately, it is possible to manage the bacteria in your mouth with a proper diet and good oral hygiene. Regular dental cleanings and checkups also help to regulate the bacteria count in your mouth.

There are over 700 varied strains of bacteria that can be in human mouths. The average person has about 34 to 72 different strains of bacteria in his/her mouth at all times. Most of these bacteria are not harmful in any way, and some are probiotic – meaning they aid in the digestion of food. Other species of bacteria help to protect a person’s teeth and gums.

Of course, there are also certain species of bacteria that lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Here is a closer look at the species of bacteria you do not want in your mouth.

Commonly found harmful oral bacteria

Most people have heard of Streptococcus mutans. Like many other bacterial species that live in your mouth. It dines on the starches and sugars in the food particles that are left in your mouth after you eat. The problem arises after these bacteria have had their fill since they excrete enamel-damaging acids. Streptococcus mutans is the leading cause of tooth decay.

Another harmful bacteria species that are not normally found in healthy mouths is porphyromonas gingivalis. This bacteria strain links to periodontitis, which is an advanced stage of gum disease. Periodontitis attacks the alveolar bone structures that hold your teeth in place, so if people do not quickly address it, then it will lead to tooth loss.

Good oral hygiene reduces bacteria

It is possible to control and manage the bacteria in your mouth with proper oral care habits. This includes brushing twice a day (especially before you go to bed), flossing daily, and using an antibacterial mouthwash to lower your bacteria count. Remember, the bacteria in your mouth feed on the particles that are left over in your mouth after eating, so by keeping your mouth clean, you make it harder for the bacteria in there to feed and reproduce.

It is also possible to manage a person’s bacteria count with a proper diet. People need to keep starchy and sugary foods to a minimum while using water to rinse the mouth after meals. Dairy products and green leafy vegetable tend to promote good oral health. Thus, the more a person consumes these foods, the less likely the person’s mouth will have unhealthy amounts of bacteria.

A study by the Microbiome science journal indicated that certain beverages like alcoholic drinks tend to increase people’s bacteria count, so the consumption of these should also be kept to a minimum. Want more tips about how to keep your mouth free of harmful bacteria species? Contact one of our dentists for a consultation today.

Request a dental appointment here: or call Dr. Call Dental Center at (706) 425-6240 for an appointment in our Dalton dental office.

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