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Oral Bacteria: The Good, The Bad and The Sweet 

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A lot of people just want to blame sugar for causing all of their dental problems. Sure, as any dental hygienist will tell you, there is a link between the sweet stuff and dental problems, but the real culprit is not the sugar but the bacteria that thrives off of it. Our mouths are loaded with bacteria, and some of this oral micro flora thrives on sugar and other simple carbohydrates.  These bacteria then release lactic acid as by product of their sugar binge and this lactic acid is what eats away at your enamel paving the way for tooth decay. So, it is not sugar that causes tooth decay, but rather harmful bacteria that feeds off of it. 

It is not only sugar that these bad bacteria thrive off of, but pretty much any simple carbohydrate that you introduce to your mouth. White bread, soda (sugar free or otherwise), kids cereal, even pizza all contain simple carbohydrates that these bacteria can thrive off of and compromise tooth and gum health. Our modern diets are rich in these types of foods causing an imbalance of bad bacteria in our mouths leading to dental problems as well as bad breath. 

One way in which we try to combat these bad bacteria are mouthwashes that contain alcohol. The alcohol in these mouthwashes can kill off these bad bacteria and help freshen your breath, but they also leave your mouth feeling dry. Also, they not only kill off the bad bacteria, but also the good bacteria as well, leaving your mouth wide open for more bad bacteria the next time you decide to snack on some sugary goodness. 

Good Bacteria, also known as probiotics, are bacteria that liked to hang out in your mouth but have known harmful side effects like lactic acid buildup. Some even release hydrogen peroxide which can have an overall whitening effect on your teeth. Hydrogen Peroxide aside, the main benefit that these good bacteria give your mouth is by competing for both space and nutrients with the bad bacteria. By pushing out the bad bacteria, these good bacteria helps keep the lactic acid damage down to a minimum. 

By getting enough of these good bacteria to stick around in your mouth, you give yourself a fighting chance in the dentist’s office. They can also combat bad breath and whiten your teeth. There are several products out there that contain blends of probiotics for oral health. One such product is a breath mint called EvoraPlus. Taking these mints twice a day can help balance your good and bacteria and keep your mouth healthy and fresh.

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