If you thought you were alone inside your mouth, you could not have been more wrong. Inside your mouth is a whole ecosystem of good, bad and indifferent bacteria, about 20 billion of them, according to one scientist. And our job at Smilecraft, your dentist in Stevenage, is to help you keep them under control.
Don’t panic. These bacteria don’t weigh very much and they are meant to be there. According to Dr Walter Loesche, of the University of Michigan, USA, you have got about 500-650 different species of bacteria living in your mouth. Some, in ideal conditions, can reproduce every 20 minutes.
It sounds like it won’t be long before you can’t fit in any more bacteria in your mouth, but along with the litre of saliva you swallow every day, you also swallow about 100 billion bacteria. Having said that, some bacteria, such as Streptococcus mutans, try to avoid the fate of being digested by clinging onto the surfaces of our teeth, gums, tongue and cheek linings.
Streptococcus mutans is a name you might want to remember. This is the bacteria that you will be most familiar with. You can see it in your mouth and feel it on your teeth, building up as that sticky layer of plaque and then turning into chalk-like tartar if you don’t get it off your teeth within 3 days. It feeds on the sugars in your saliva, so if you eat or drink lots of sugar, you’ll notice these little critters making your teeth feel furry a few hours later. This bacterium is why you brush your teeth twice a day, and floss, and then come along to the dentist in Stevenage to get check-ups and deep cleanings.
Yes, Streptococcus mutans is the cause of dental decay and gum disease, both of which are the result of the acids it gives off after gorging on sugar. So, if you want to save yourself money and time at the dentist in Stevenage, come along for your check-ups and maintain a good oral health routine by brushing and flossing twice a day, every day.