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How Many Bacteria Live in Your Mouth?

December 24, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — drkics @ 1:16 am
3D illustration of oral bacteria

Bacteria are microorganisms that can be found everywhere. They’re in the food you eat, the plants you water, and different parts of the body, including your mouth. As abundant as bacteria are in the world around you, many people aren’t aware that not all bacteria are bad for you. For example, there are oral bacteria that naturally occur. Though some of these are the causes of gum disease or cavities, others can help keep your body healthy and functioning properly. Continue reading to learn how many oral bacteria the average person has and how they impact your smile.

How Many Oral Bacteria Do People Have?

Studies have been conducted to find out how many oral bacteria are in the average person’s mouth, and they have determined that most people have about 20 billion oral microbes. This number may vary depending on genetics, the types of foods that you eat, and how often you brush and floss your teeth. The biggest challenge you face regarding the health of your teeth is that bacteria reproduce.

In fact, the number of oral bacteria doubles every 4.8 hours. This means someone who brushes in the morning and doesn’t do it again for 24 hours will have about 100 billion bacteria in their mouth!

Are Oral Bacteria Dangerous?

While most oral bacteria are beneficial to the health of your smile, others can be problematic. The bacteria that cause cavities feed off the sugar in the foods and beverages you consume. They release acids that damage enamel – the outer layer of the tooth.

This makes your teeth more susceptible to decay. Additionally, bacteria that get into the gums can lead to gum disease, which can cause loose teeth, gum recession, and tooth loss.

Tips for Keeping Your Mouth Healthy

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to keep your smile safe from harmful oral bacteria, such as:

  • Brush your teeth – Brush in the morning and at night for two minutes to remove plaque, food particles, and bacteria from your smile.
  • Floss nightly – This will remove plaque between your teeth, which accounts for 40 percent of oral bacteria, to lessen your risk of cavities.
  • Rinse with mouthwash – Using ADA-approved mouthwash regularly will help wash away bacteria in places where you can’t brush or floss.
  • Eat a balanced diet – Lean meat, fish, fresh fruits and veggies, and low-fat or fat-free dairy are full of vitamins and minerals that are good for your smile.
  • Visit your dentist – Schedule a checkup and cleaning every six months.

Not all oral bacteria are dangerous, but it’s important to be proactive to prevent the ones that are from damaging your teeth. With the steps above, you can keep oral health issues at bay and maintain a beautiful grin you feel good about!

About the Practice

At Westgate Dental Care, you can rest assured you are experiencing an exceptional level of dental expertise. Our dentists are trained to detect problems before they affect your oral health. Patient safety, comfort, and ensuring that top-notch treatment is affordable are priorities for our seven-dentist team. We’ll be happy to further discuss oral bacteria, or any dental topic on your mind, during your next checkup and cleaning. You can schedule one on our website or call (847) 908-3684.