Dr. Jennifer Vitarelli

3 Common Types of Mouth Bacteria and What They Do

You can’t feel, taste, or smell them, but your mouth is home to over 70 types of different bacteria and most of them occur naturally and don’t do any harm to your oral health. However, there are bacteria that can cause tooth decay and periodontal (gum) diseases. 

Here’s a little post on where these bad bacteria are found and which causes tooth decay and gum infection and how you can prevent them from building up in your mouth.

Streptococcus Mutans

  • The Streptococcus Mutans or S. Mutans are bacteria that cause tooth decay. This bacteria is present in every corner of your mouth, but for dental decay to occur, the S. Mutans must make contact with sugar or sucrose-containing products.

When the bacteria meet with sugar, they increase in number and start to secrete acids that are harmful to your teeth. These acid attacks typically target the enamel of your teeth which results in tooth decay. 

Treponema Denticola and Porphyromonas Gingivalis

  • These two types of bacteria are most associated with causing gum disease. They are anaerobic in nature which means that they can survive in the mouth without oxygen. Both of them can easily multiply in the mouth and can cause inflammation of the gums.

T. denticola and P. gingivalis produce toxins known as the ‘Red Complex’ which can disrupt the good bacteria in the mouth. When they increase in numbers, they can start to attack the gumline and later on, break down the bone and connective tissue around the teeth. This ultimately leads to loosened teeth which may require tooth extraction. 

Preventing Harmful Bacteria From Damaging Your Teeth and Gums

  • While these three types of bacteria sound harmful and dangerous, they are not beyond control. Regular brushing and flossing along with routine periodontal therapy from a dentist is a good way to prevent them from multiplying and hurting your oral health.

Make sure to use a variety of oral care products to control these bacteria and visit your dentist biannually for regular checkups. 

Vitarelli Dental in Saddle River is open for new patients. Book an appointment today by emailing us or filling a short online appointment form on our website. Once we receive your request, our team will get in touch with you immediately. 

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