Your Dentists Ask: Does Your Mouth Have a Germ Problem?

woman hiding her smileAs you read this sentence, there are over 600 identifiable kinds of bacteria inhabiting your mouth. Luckily, that’s not the problem. In fact, many of those microbes might be vital to your mouth’s delicate ecological balance. A problem arises, however, when you allow these germs to gather in force, forming a sticky film that protects them from your mouth’s defenses. From behind a shield of plaque, oral bacteria can multiply, consume nutrients, and produce substances that damage your teeth and gums. Reno dentists, Dr. Wager and Dr. Evans, warn of two bacteria in particular—Streptococcus mutans and Porphyromonas gingivalis—that are directly responsible for paving the way for tooth decay and gum disease.

You Should Meet Your Mouth’s Tenants

Streptococcus mutans

Among the more popular mouth germs, S. mutans are the bacteria responsible for destroying your tooth enamel and leaving your teeth vulnerable to cavity development. They’re also the reason why your parents and dentist warn you about eating too much candy. S. mutans convert the sugar in your meals into organic acid, which depletes teeth of the minerals they need to maintain their protective enamel. Poor hygiene and excessive snacking can allow bacterial acid to overwhelm your enamel and erode it until it can no longer protect your teeth.

Porphyromonas gingivalis

Inflammation is a natural response by your immune system to eradicate harmful microbes. P. gingivalis produces a molecule that allows it to evade this response, leading to excessive inflammation in your gum tissues as your immune system hunts the germ. The prolonged swelling, along with toxins released by other bacteria, can cause your gums to separate from your teeth, creating pockets for more germs to hide. Before long, gum disease can develop and destroy your gums, and if left untreated, it may cost you one or more teeth.

Keep Calm, and Brush Your Teeth

Brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day is an essential aspect of controlling oral bacteria and the plaque they form. Attending your six-month dental checkup and cleaning is equally as important. Plaque forms daily, and carefully brushing and flossing it off of your teeth can protect your smile from the dental diseases that bacteria cause. Miss a spot, however, and plaque will harden into tartar, which is too tough for your toothbrush and floss. Your routine dental cleaning allows us to professionally remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria, as well as thoroughly inspect your teeth and gums for signs of infection.

About Your Reno Dentists:

Dr. William Wager, Dr. Brian Evans, and our highly experienced team at Wager Evans Dental are devoted to our patients and their families, and dedicated to providing first-rate dental care in a comfortable, inviting environment. Located in Reno, we proudly welcome residents from Spanish Springs, Sparks, Incline Village, Dayton, Fernley, and all surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation or your next dental appointment, visit our office, or contact us today by calling (775) 800-4845.