Helpful and Harmful Microbes Living In Your Mouth

by Dr. William Gruss | 02/15/2021 2:40 PM
Helpful and Harmful Microbes Living In Your Mouth

Are you aware that there may be a community of over 700 single-cell beneficial and harmful microbe species living in your mouth at any one time? You can do many things to keep harmful mouth microbes from harming your teeth and health.


Everyone has microbes living in their mouth. Many microbes are beneficial. Others might lead to issues such as dental conditions. Some microbes create a moist, yellow-colored film called plaque on the teeth. Brushing and flossing are essential hygiene tools to maintain a healthy mouth. Even after you brush and floss, germs grow again, and more plaque forms. It’s why you frequently need to wash your mouth.

Community Growth

In different areas of the mouth, other microbes can evolve more efficiently. Different size spaces and crevasses between the teeth allow microbes to grow with more or less unobstructed ease. On the tongue is a very different environment that allows a very diverse community to evolve. Other communities of microbes exist in the smaller spaces between the gum and teeth. When they’ve established their homes, other new germs develop off the existing community and form entirely new diverse communities.

Mouth microbes live together and defend themselves by producing a stick material called a matrix. The hardening of the matrix in plaque makes it more difficult for it to be removed.

Inside the matrix, the populations contain both beneficial and bacterial infection microbes. Healthy microbes help to keep poor microbes’ proliferation in control. Healthy microbes even aid in food digestion and protect food from bacterial pathogens.

A person’s eating and snacking preferences might be doing some things that will make it easier for harmful microbes to grow far quicker and in more significant quantities.  This preference may also reduce the production of good microbes.  High sugar foods and beverages nourish those harmful microbes and allow them to increase and expand out in greater numbers.

These harmful microbes thrive on sugary foods and beverages and transform and convert the sugar into a harmful matrix and acid that develops into plaque and destroys teeth with these bacteria.

Thinking about the community is much more beneficial than thinking about the individual microbe, which causes disease. You didn’t escape dental problems by disposing of only one kind of acid-making microbe. There are multiple types of microbes that create acid in the plaque. The important lesson to adhere to daily controls on candy and promoting oral hygiene will prevent future harmful microbes from spreading out of balance.

Most bacteria in our mouths depend upon several other community members’ support to survive and thrive.

Since microbes are emerging in populations, it is crucial to understand how all the various germs that live in the mouth and what they’re doing are harmful and beneficial microbes.

“Many bacteria in our mouths depend on help from other members of their community to survive and prosper,” says Dr. Floyd Dewhirst, a dental expert. He studies microbes at the Forsyth Institute.

The problem is that many microbes don’t want to evolve anywhere except in your mouth. Around 30 percent of the 700 species have not yet been cultivated in the laboratory.

Dewhirst’s team is working on growing those microbes in the lab that no one has produced before. They’re using genetic and other information to identify each one and learn more about them.

Studies have shown that a few microbes produce specific chemicals that assist their neighborhood’s growth.

These microbes can affect the health of people. Scientists are running tests to grow microbes in the labels to determine how they are involved in health and disease. Such data could one day help scientists develop better ways to prevent and treat oral diseases.

A significant health issue induced by bacteria in the mouth is tooth decay in children. In the United States, this disease affects about 23 percent of in-out kids between the ages of 1 and 5. Tooth decay could get worse very quickly. In young kids, the microbe matrix and bacterial acid are the major tooth decay factors.

Children with severe tooth decay also have fungi in the plaque. The fungus associates with the matrix and acid-making microbes to intensify tooth decay. Bacteria alone can trigger tooth decay. But if there was a fungus, it strengthens plaque.

Even when making acid, a few other fungi could get energy from carbohydrates that microbes release. The fungus then produces chemicals that nourish the growth of harmful microorganisms. This enables the bacteria to form an even harder matrix and contribute to making too much acid.

Fighting back Plaque Growth

New ways to tackle plaque accumulation and tooth decay are small particles that are tiny enough to get in there and break the matrix that protects microbes, called nanoparticles. The nanoparticles can also destroy the bacteria that create acid without harming healthy oral bacteria.

Acid damage to the tooth surface can be minimized by these small chemicals. Nanoparticles are just one strategy currently getting researched to diagnose or manage oral diseases. Scientists expect to test the method in people in the future. Future technology will lead to making our mouths cleaner. But to put dangerous mouth microbes in place now, there are several measures you can do. For some suggestions, refer to the Wise Choices. Without even a healthy mouth, you can’t have such a fit lifestyle.

Keep Mouth Microbes in control with Wise Choices

Here are some tips that will help avoid tooth decay and diseases of the mouth:

  • With such a toothpaste, which includes fluoride, clean your teeth.
  • Remove the plaque around your teeth with floss.
  • Remember to wash your tongue.
  • Restricted foods and beverages with sugar.
  • Drink water that is fluoridated.
  • Get periodic dental tests and professional cleaning.


                            5 Types of Bacteria We Find in the mouth




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