At any given time between 250 and 300 different types of oral bacteria are busy thriving in your mouth. Some are good, some are downright destructive, but all come with the territory of being a human being.
Here’s a quick guide to the good and the bad of oral bacteria, and how your toothbrush plays an important role.
A bit about bacteria
Bacteria thrives throughout the body. From the moment we are born, it accompanies us on life’s journey in the knowledge the nice, warm, welcoming environment of humans is the perfect place for it to reside.
For the most part, bacteria are a helpful addition, assisting to fight illness, break down sugar, eliminate toxins and absorb the required fatty acids.
Stop Cancer even goes on to note bacteria acts as a bit of tuning fork for the immune system “making sure it’s pitched just right”.
“The immune system shouldn’t be too sensitive or too sluggish: it needs to respond quickly to an infection, but it shouldn’t over-react”.
As the mouth is a major entry point to the body, it’s also a central site for bacteria, and the environment is made even more alluring by the addition of food.
That means up to 700 types of bacteria can be detected in the mouth.
Whether it’s friend or foe comes down to the personality of the bacteria you have on board.
Probiotics lead the charge when it comes to the good bacteria usually found in the mouth. They are believed to start the process of breaking down food.
In addition to starting the digestive process, The European Journal of Dentistry has also found probiotics may help combat common disease such as gum disease and oral candida.
Meanwhile, a recent article in the Scientific American notes good bacteria like Streptococcus salivarius K12 might help balance out the bacteria which causes bad breath.
In terms of bad bacteria, there are two which commonly spring to mind, and the most common of these is Streptococcus mutans.
This bacteria feeds on sugars and starches present in the mouth. As it does so it produces acid, and this has been linked to the erosion of tooth enamel and ultimately tooth decay. This is one of the major bacteria that daily brushing and flossing helps to minimise.
The second major bad strain of bacteria doesn’t affect everyone but is known as Porphyromonas gingivalis. This bacteria strain is linked to gum disease. Ultimately, gum disease can lead to loose teeth, bone damage and teeth loss.
The balancing act
As the human body is a finely tuned machine relying on a healthy dose of good bacteria, oral hygiene and that daily brushing and flossing isn’t about eliminating all bacteria. It’s about balance.
For centuries natural plant-based products like those derived from the Salvadora Persica Tree have been credited with treading this fine line.
Traditionally used as a chewing stick, the roots and twigs of the Salvadora Persica have been found to have antibacterial properties which may help control the formation and activity of dental plaque.
It has also been proven to be effective in combatting other bacteria, alleviating gingivitis, and preventing dental cavities.
About Bare Brush
At Bare Brush we have a range of natural toothbrushes offering minimal environmental impact. We also feature chew sticks from the Salvadora Persica Tree along with natural toothpaste derived from the same plant.
Our aim is to offer the best available oral hygiene tools, while also minimizing our environmental footprint. It’s the best of toothbrush history combined in one convenient place.