Ankeny Dentist Discusses Bacteria of the Mouth

Do you ever wonder about the bacteria living in your mouth? The presence of bacteria in the human mouth is inevitable. Some are beneficial, while others can prove harmful to your oral health. In many cases, the effects of harmful oral bacteria could be minimized with an improved oral health regimen. Your Ankeny dentist, Dr. Amanda Foust, outlines the different types of bacteria, and their effect on the entire body.

Types of Bacteria

According to the European Bioinformatics Institute, Streptococcus mutans is the primary cause of tooth decay. Known for secreting lactic acid after consuming sugar and carbohydrates, these bacteria contribute to the formation of dental plaque, which clings to the surfaces of your teeth and gums. Of all the bacteria in the mouth, researchers believe S. mutans to be the most harmful to tooth enamel.

In many instances, limiting the accumulation of these harmful bacteria could be as simple as maintaining a strict oral hygiene routine, consisting of twice-daily tooth brushing and flossing. Six-month checkups and professional dental cleanings are also very important to controlling oral bacteria. In the United States, gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. Many studies report that up to 80% of people will suffer from gum disease at some point in their life.

Systemic Connection

Numerous studies conducted over recent years focused on the link between oral bacteria and overall patient health. Research suggests that oral bacteria can enter the circulatory system through diseased soft gum tissue. Once bacteria enter the bloodstream, they can advance the progression of cardiovascular disease or lead to other chronic systemic illnesses.

Patients with signs of periodontal disease and elevated risk of heart issues will typically be prescribed antibiotics before and after undergoing periodontal maintenance. The antibiotics reduce the risk of infection for  high-risk patients.

Schedule Your Visit

If you suffer with bad breath, toothaches, or abnormalities of the mouth, Dr. Foust can help. At Dental Impressions of Ankeny, we provide dental care for the whole family. Contact our 50021 dentist office by calling (515) 965-0230 to schedule a consultation today. We proudly serve patients from Polk City, Bondurant, Elkhart, and Alleman.