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Protecting your teeth and gums with good oral bacteria

Feb 09, 2012

Most people know that the human mouth is a bacterial playground. But how many know that some of that bacteria is good for you and that antibacterial mouthwashes destroy the beneficial bacteria?  

Good bacteria promote better oral health by keeping your breath fresh and your gums healthy. Experts in oral health have identified three specific good bacteria: Bacillus coagulans, Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus salivarius. By contract, there are 10 specific bacteria that are blamed for causing cavities and periodontal disease.

Dr. Jeffrey Hillman, DMD, PhD, has spent over 30 years researching oral health and has conducted extensive studies on the theory of eliminating bad bacteria by flooding the mouth with good bacteria. How? Hillman recommends supplementing your daily brushing and flossing with probiotics.

A probiotic is a supplement containing live bacteria that is taken orally to restore, or build up, beneficial bacteria in your body. By contrast, antibiotics destroy bacteria or other viruses.

Dr. Hillman’s studies and those of other oral experts have shown that beneficial bacterial aid optimal tooth and gum health, freshen breath and continuously release a low dose of hydrogen peroxide that gently whiten teeth.  This helps the good bacteria cling to the surface of teeth, including crevices and fissures in the chewing surface that might otherwise be overcome with bad bacteria.

Additionally, this good bacteria spreads under orthodontic braces, retainers and below the gum line, reaching deep down where brushing and flossing alone can’t reach.

Surprisingly, it is now believed that antibacterial mouthwashes and breath fresheners increase the likelihood of strengthening harmful bacteria by temporarily destroying both the good and bad oral bacteria. This increases the likelihood the bad bacteria will quickly repopulate, making problems like bad breath even worse.

The Journal of the American Dental Association says that an overpopulating bad bacteria can result in inflammation throughout your body, contributing to serious health issues like cardiovascular disease and upper respiratory issues.

This is just another reminder of the importance of having a dental checkup twice a year. If you suffer from bad breath or regularly experience a sour taste in your mouth, consult your dentist for their recommendation on the best treatment.

Sources: American Society for Microbiology, Implant Dentistry of Florida, Oralgenics, Therabreath, Web MD


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