When your Houston endodontist, or dental professional from anywhere, for that matter, talks about bacteria, most people get scared. This is because there is a lack of information as to what bacteria is and what it can cause. For people who are dealing with this, there are a few things to keep in mind.

What is Bacteria Exactly?

Bacteria belongs to a group of single cell prokaryotic microorganisms. This means they do not have a nucleus so their DNA just floats around the cell. Bacteria is what is responsible for a great deal of disease for both people and animals. It can grow exponentially depending on the type of bacteria and cause a wide range of diseases and ailments. There are more than 700 different types of bacteria that have been found in the human mouth. While this may seem alarming, studies have shown that most people only have between 34 and 72 types of bacteria in their mouth at any given time.

Dental Bacteria

Bacteria and Oral Health

There are many oral health issues that have a root cause of bacteria, though there are two that cause the most damage. Streptococcus mutans is known to feed off of starches and sugars in the mouth. While this bacteria in itself is not a huge issue, the real problem is that it emits a substance that causes tooth decay. The other bacteria that is a big concern for oral health is Porphyromonas gingivalis, which has been linked to periodontitis.

How to Keep Bacteria in Check

In order to prevent oral health issues it is important to keep bacteria under control. There are a few ways that people can do this. The first is to make oral health a priority. This means brushing and flossing at least once a day. There are also gums out there that contains xylitol, a sugar substitute which has been found to kill bacteria in the mouth. More than this, it is essential to keep up with routine visits to the dentist. This is where the teeth are cleaned and examined for any issues. The dentist is the best person to help understand how to properly care for your mouth and keep bacteria at bay.