Listen here, Potty Mouth… we’re not talking about the colorful “sentence enhancers” thrown into your vocabulary from time to time. What we are talking about is the perfect breeding ground for harmful bacteria that we all call our mouths. In a 2007 survey by the Hygiene Council, the average toilet bowl contained astronomical amounts of bacteria (3.2 million per square inch) and the average toilet seat contained 295 bacteria per square inch. However, it has been estimated that there are approximately 100 million microbes of bacteria for every milliliter of saliva (100,000,000 per ml) lurking within the human mouth. This means there are anywhere from 400-600 (some sources claim that our mouths are host to as many as 1,000) different species of bacteria in the saliva of the mouth… that is a colossal breeding ground for fungi, parasites, and viruses who are looking to set up camp and harm your oral hygiene.
Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts discovered that more than 700 bacterial species were detectable within the mouth in an average month. That is a whole-lot-of yuck. During their studies, researchers managed to identify 13 new bacterial species and that most mouths came equipped with between 20 and 30 different predominant species.
There are 4 common bacteria that can be found within the confines of the perfectly heated and moist-bacteria homeland that we call “the human mouth:”
- Staphylococcus epidermidis & Staphylococcus aureus – This one can often cause infection in those who have compromised immune function, but in general it is not a major problem causer
- Streptococcus – This is the devil that turns sugar into harmful acids, which dissolve your tooths enamel and cause tooth decay
- Lactobacillus – The names of these just keep getting worse and harder to understand, and the truth is… they are as horrible as they sound. This one in particular transforms into lactic acid, which causes cavities and tooth decay
- Coli – You were warned that these would get worse. This spicy little number is usually prevalent in the intestines, but a small number has been found in the mouth and functions as a potential pathogen
Practicing good oral habits is key to having long lasting good-oral health. You want to create habits that will rid your teeth and gums of harmful bacteria. However, fortunately (and we swear this is true) bacteria can be the “good guys” within your body, including your mouth. A good balance of the “good guys” can help keep the “bad guys” in check.
The tried and true way to keep the harmful bacteria within your mouth from destroying your perfect smile always starts with the basics. Make sure you brush (at least) twice a day, floss (at least) once a day, and keep regular-professional cleanings an important part of your dental routine. If you have any concerns about your oral health, please contact our office today. Our incredibly knowledgeable staff is here to answer any questions you may have about your oral health.