Simple Steps To Minimize Oral Bacteria

Posted on Mar 04, 2015 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

As a Periodontist, I have a daily view of the destruction possible by oral bacteria. Rotten, damaged teeth and diseased gum tissues are the result of bacteria buildup in the mouth. However, you can take simple measures to minimize oral bacteria and its overgrowth in the mouth. One way is limiting the frequency of eating and drinking.

Every time you eat or drink something (other than plain water), an acid attack begins in your mouth. This is the initial part of the digestive process. However, what’s in your mouth feed bacteria, helping them to reproduce. While sugary and starchy foods and drinks provide bacteria with an ideal substance for growth, all foods contribute.

Limit your eating to mealtime and avoid snacking. If you must snack, select carrots, celery and foods that actually ‘scrape’ teeth as you chew. Cheeses are other good choices, as they help to neutralize oral acidity.

Flossing and tongue scraping are highly beneficial measures that require minimal time. If you have difficulty flossing, try an electronic version. A tongue scraper is an inexpensive tool but brushing your tongue after tooth brushing (especially towards the back of the tongue) can dislodge a tremendous amount of bacteria embedded in the tongue.

Finally, be sure to keep your 6-month cleaning appointments. During these, destructive plaque buildup is removed and signs of gum disease can be noted. Early signs of gum disease are gums that bleed when brushing, sore and swollen spots on gum tissue, frequent bad breath, and gums that are red rather than a healthy pink.

If you’re past due on dental check-ups or having symptoms of gum disease, contact us at (828) 274-9440 for an appointment. Tending to oral bacteria early can help you avoid costly treatment in the future.

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