Don’t get grossed out, but your mouth is absolutely swarming with bacteria. Over 300 different strains by most accounts. It sounds pretty disgusting when you think about it, but it’s something we all live with for our entire lives – you even inherit some of your oral bacteria while still in the womb!
We brush our teeth and floss to keep oral bacteria under control, but what
happens when it gets out of hand? The most common problems are gum disease and
tooth decay, but that’s just what happens in your mouth.
What Oral Bacteria Does In Your Mouth
Not all the bacteria in your mouth is dangerous, but the stuff that is can do serious damage. Like we mentioned above, the most immediate oral health problems are gum disease and tooth decay, both of which are quite common.
Bacteria does most of its dirty work by metabolizing sugars into acid. Any sugar in the foods you eat is a feast for oral bacteria, and those acids are great at eroding your enamel and irritating your gums.
We often think of cavities as the big baddie of oral health, but in truth gum disease is a much more serious problem. It only takes about 24 hours for gum disease to start causing trouble for your gums, and it isn’t much longer than that before it starts causing serious damage to your gums.
The biggest problems come when oral bacteria manages to slip into your bloodstream. From there it’s able to trigger or worse a whole bunch of systemic health problems – many of which can be fatal. Oral bacteria is able to make it into your bloodstream through severe cavities (when it reaches the root) and through gum disease (bleeding is a common symptom). Controlling your oral health is central to preventing most of these health conditions from starting or becoming worse!
Conditions Linked To Oral Bacteria
If you’re wondering what exactly oral bacteria can do to the rest of your body we’ve compiled a list of some of the most serious risks. Keep in mind, there are more risks than just these!
Certain strains of bacteria are attracted to weak arteries in the brain. When they attach to the cell walls they spread, weakening blood vessels until they burst, causing hemorrhages and strokes.
Recent studies found that gum disease patients suffer faster Alzheimer’s declines than those with healthy mouths.
Patients suffering from pancreatic cancer have an almost completely unique bacteria signature in their mouths. This indicates that oral bacteria is playing a huge role in the development of this particular kind of cancer!
Esophageal cancer patients have been found to have high concentrations of oral bacteria around their cancerous cells – it’s like they serve as a magnet for dangerous bacteria!
A recent study found that breast cancer sufferers has a 32 percent higher incidence of also having gum disease than those without.
Kidney disease is commonly known to weaken the immune system, and for many people that leads to gum disease spreading without the body being able to control it at all. In patients who end up suffering from uncontrolled gum disease there’s a much higher mortality rate than those who maintain healthy teeth and gums.
When oral bacteria enters the bloodstream there’s a significant increase in certain proteins in the blood as well. Those same proteins are also responsible for heart disease, clogged arteries, and heart attacks.
How To Prevent These Health Conditions
The best way to keep your oral health from ruining your bodily health is by keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy! Maintaining peak health involves brushing twice a day, flossing every night, and making sure you get proper preventive oral care twice a year at our Valparaiso or St John office. Cleanings and exams are an essential part of good oral health!
At Creating Smiles we want to help your oral health be the best it can possibly be, and that means controlling decay, limiting gum disease, and getting rid of excess bacteria that builds up in hard to reach places that you might not be able to clean. Maintaining that kind of health is fundamental, not only for a lifelong smile, but also for your entire body!
Treat your smile – and yourself – to good health. Schedule an appointment with us today by calling our Valparaiso office at 219-462-1970 or our St. John office at 219-322-9920. If you would prefer you can also request an appointment online. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Creating Smiles, PC, located in St. John and Valparaiso, Indiana, offers everything you need for a healthy smile and a healthier life. Dr. Kapers and his team can take the anxiety and uncertainty out of dental visits with sedation dentistry, and we're the premier provider of dental implants in the region.