Foods bring microbes with them that are good and bad for you and your mouth. They are bringing lots of enzymes (especially if they are raw foods), and sugars. Sugars in your mouth are food for microbes residing in there. As far as the microbes in your mouth, there have been as many as 600 different species of microbes identified in the mouth! All microbes form a biofilm on surfaces. Biofilms are kind of slimy substances that have some nutrients in them and act as a protective blanket for microbes. If this film in not removed it will calcify and become tartar. Biofilms mostly form between teeth and go down along the teeth into the gums below the surface of the gum. This area is known as the "pocket".
The bacteria that go into the pockets are the anaerobic bacteria that produce hydrogen sulfide, the source of most bad breath. The hydrogen sulfide combines with water molecules and forms sulfuric acid (there are other acids that are produced by some other anaerobic bacteria that also colonize the pocket and the rest of the mouth. The acids wear down the bone under your gums and in your teeth. The acid is very irritating and feels like a mild burning. The irritation leads to bleeding and inflammation of the gums, known as gingivitis. If gingivitis is not addressed, it will progress into periodontal disease. At that point, more drastic measures are needed such as gum surgery, removal of teeth, bone grafts, dentures or implants, etc. Periodontal disease can be very painful and lead to other problems such as heart disease.
- Your best methods of prevention are to floss regularly...preferably after every meal. This will remove large particles of food left between the teeth and will also scrape off the film and even some small bits of tartar that have begun to form.
- Also recommended is using a Water Pik®. This machine uses water to flush out between teeth and can also flush out shallow pockets, removing the bacteria and acids in the pocket. Use this machine (they also make portable ones you can take with you when you travel) after flossing. We recommend adding a tablespoon of Dr. Don's® Oral Rinse in the reservoir of a Water Pik®. It adds several types of antioxidants that help fight inflammation in the mouth.
- The latest development in brushing is a sonic brush. The sonic brush vibrates at a high rate/frequency. This frequency suppresses the growth of pathogenic bacteria and can also help loosen tartar. This is exactly how our Dr. Don's® products work by the way! The ceramics in our Dr. Don's® Tooth Powder emit an ultrasonic frequency that stops pathogenic bacteria growth in your mouth.
- Probiotics are also being studied for their effects on gingivitis, periodontal disease, and bad breath. We recommend using Pro EM•1® diluted with water as part of your oral care program. Dilute 1 tsp of Pro EM•1® in 8oz of water, swish, gargle, and swallow after you have finished flossing, irrigating, and brushing.
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