On a microscopic level, the microbiome is the population of all the tiny things that live in and on your body. There are thousands of different species of tiny things, such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, parasites and more, living in harmony in a healthy person. Furthermore, there are different microbiome populations that thrive in different places. One such place is inside your mouth!
While at first this might seem scary, remember not all bugs are bad. Good organisms can and do work to help you. For example, there are actually good bacteria that help to digest food. Some even actively help keep the bad ones away, like those responsible for causing cavities, bad breath and gum disease!
These microbiome ecosystems form sophisticated layers. Regarding those layers on your teeth, you might recall hearing the term plaque? When the plaque biofilm forms on teeth, cavities can occur if the bad, acid producing players outnumber the good players.
Until now, very little was known about the actual composition and structure of the plaque biofilm. All that we seemed to know was that the less plaque a person had on their teeth, the less likely it was that they’d get a cavity. However, there was always someone out there that didn’t get cavities, despite hardly brushing. With the advent of new diagnostic methods, we’re gaining a much better understanding why this could happen.
It turns out that not only does the recommendation to keep your teeth clean have basis, the recommendation of having a healthy diet is also proving to be true. It is now known that healthy diets lead to healthier, non-damaging bacteria, i.e. less acid releasing bacteria, that are responsible for making holes in teeth!
So what can you do now to promote a healthy microbiome? Going back to the basics with a diet consisting of less processed foods, reduces the sticky, clingy carbs sources for the bad bacteria. Drinking plain water helps control and keep neutral salivary pH, which again is not what the bad bacteria like. Lastly, consider taking probiotics and chewing xylitol gum. This will promote more good bacteria and move you toward a microbiome in harmony.
Watch for exciting technological advancements in the dental industry, especially in the areas of diagnostics and prevention.
From home, using your own phone, you can now have an Artificial Intelligence at home dental screenings and get a report on where you might have plaque buildup or tooth decay!
At the dental office, there are new ways to have your teeth cleaned with a special biofilm removing process that uses a natural sugar that the bad players cannot metabolize! See, learning a little about microbiomes will give you something to smile about!
Interested in knowing more about AI or removing biofilm? Please contact Dr. Sandor and her experienced team. They’ll be excited to tell you more. 239-592-0800