Bacteria in the mouth can put your oral health at risk, but it can also lead to a variety of other medical conditions. Bacteria found in the mouth can even compromise the health of your heart if it enters the bloodstream. There are several ways to keep the mouth free of harmful bacteria and protect your overall health. Your dentist is going to make the following suggestions to keep your mouth and body safe from bacteria.
Practice Good Oral Health Habits
Your mother told you to brush your teeth every day and she was right. Dentists recommend that you brush your teeth regularly to remove debris, food particles and harmful strains of bacteria from your mouth. You should be brushing at least twice a day, typically after you consume a meal. While brushing your teeth also scrape or brush your tongue. When there is debris on the tongue it can lead to bad breath which is typically a sign of the presence of bacteria. Your toothbrush works find to scrub the tongue free from food particles, right before you brush your teeth. Flossing frequently will also help remove food particles from between the teeth so they do not harbor bacteria. Remember to replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months to reduce the exposure to bacteria as well. Using a mouthwash as part of your daily oral health regimen can also help control the amount of bacteria in the mouth.
Avoiding Specific Eating Habits
What you eat can directly affect the amount of bacteria found in your mouth. If you commonly eat foods that contain large amounts of sugar, it can be hazardous to your health. In your mouth, sugar is broken down by bacteria and acid is formed. These acids can damage the enamel on your teeth and lead to cavities. By avoiding sugary drinks like sodas, fruit juice, and candy you can avoid unnecessary breakdown of the teeth and reduce the amount of harmful bacteria in the mouth. Drinking lots of water helps to carry debris out of the mouth and removes bacteria. Chewing gum can also help remove debris and food particles from the mouth. Always chew sugar-free gums to benefit from them; and choose gums which contain xylitol which is a natural sweetener that inhibits bacteria in the mouth from growing. Chewing gum can also increase the amount of saliva that is produced and this helps carry away bacteria as well.
Foods that Help Fight Bacterial Infections
Just like avoiding certain foods can help avoid bacterial infections from developing in the mouth, there are certain foods that are beneficial for fighting them off. An apple is considered to be one of nature’s best teeth cleaners. The skin’s texture gently scrapes plaque off the surface of your teeth. It also has a high water content that keeps it from sticking to your teeth and the vitamins in an apple are beneficial for promoting healthy gums. There are several other foods that offer anti-viral and anti-inflammatory agents that help prevent bacterial infections in the mouth. A few foods can stop the growth of bacteria that is already in the mouth and some work to kill pathogens that cause periodontal disease and infections.
An example of a bacteria fighting food is garlic. Even though it is known for causing bad breath, it has antimicrobial properties that kill bacteria in the mouth. Allicin is found in garlic and it inhibits compounds from actively causing periodontitis. Garlic is also useful for fighting gingivitis which is a bacteria associated with gum disease. Blackberries work in the mouth to kill pathogens which can cause oral infections. They also have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and antibacterial properties that help reduce the amount of harmful bacteria in the mouth. And cranberry juice has been found to stop the growth of oral bacteria. Cranberry juice blocks the growth of biofilms which are microorganisms which grow on the teeth and can lead to both tooth decay and periodontal disease. Cranberry juice has properties that prohibit biofilms from collecting and gaining strength to cause an infection. These are just a few of the foods that you can eat to help keep bacteria growth down and ultimately possibly prevent a bacterial infection from occurring.