According to the Society of American Biology, there are ten times more bacteria than cells in the human body. They come in a wide variety of species, harmful and risk-free alike. 700 of these species can be found in the mouth, including the two most common and most dangerous—streptococcus mutans and porphyromonas gingivalis.
In her article for Colgate.com, Wendy J. Woudstra discusses how these two particular bacteria can be detrimental to a person’s oral health if their growth is not contained.
Streptococcus mutans is the bacteria you've probably heard the most about. It lives in your mouth and feeds on the sugars and starches that you eat. That alone wouldn't be so bad, but as a by-product of its ravenous appetite, it produces enamel-eroding acids, which make streptococcus mutans the main cause of tooth decay in humans.
Porphyromonas gingivalis is usually not present in a healthy mouth, but when it does appear, it has been strongly linked to periodontitis. Periodontitis is a serious and progressive disease that effects the tissues and the alveolar bone that support the teeth. It is not a disease to be taken lightly. It can cause significant dental pain, and can eventually lead to tooth loss.
Failure to control the population of either species of bacteria can lead to an array of oral problems. One of these is plaque formation, which is not just unsightly but, more urgently, is damaging to the teeth. When plaque becomes thick and hard enough, it can no longer be scraped off by brushing or flossing. The bacteria in it will eventually start to decay the teeth until cavities are formed.
Cavity can lead to sensitivity issues and persistent pain that may require emergency treatment in a recognized Newmarket dental clinic. If not contained in a timely manner, the decay can spread, rendering the affected teeth dysfunctional, and eventually needing extraction.
In more severe cases, the bacteria present on teeth can reach the gums and start an infection. Gum infection or gingivitis is the beginning of a more serious condition called periodontitis, which is usually characterized by swollen gums.
As Ms. Woudstra says, when bacteria has taken hold in your mouth, they cannot be rid of completely. However, daily oral care, including brushing and flossing; the proper diet; and anti-bacterial mouthwash can help prevent their proliferation and deadly effects on teeth and gums.
Likewise, both cavities and periodontal diseases can be prevented or mitigated by timely intervention in reputable Newmarket dental offices like Dr Zofia Wojt’s. Early detection of either dental issues will help a dentist lay down treatment options and eventually prevent them from worsening.
(Source: Oral Bacteria: What Lives In Your Mouth?, Colgate.com)