Millions of bacteria and other living microorganisms are in your mouth. A report by Colgate suggests that over 700 strains of bacteria have been found in the human mouth. However, most people often have 34 – 70 strains of these bacteria. Some of these bacteria fight certain harmful bacteria, protecting your teeth and gums against tooth decay, gum disease, and other infections. Other bacteria act like probiotics, which are beneficial in digestion.
However, some of the bacteria in the mouth are harmful. Below are the two most common types of harmful bacteria in your mouth:
Visit our emergency dental clinic for dental treatments to help manage dental decay or gum disease caused by these and other bacteria.
As we’ve learned above, your mouth contains millions of harmful and good bacteria. For this reason, the toothbrush you use to clean your mouth could also be a hub for bacteria. The bacteria and other organisms outside your mouth can get into the toothbrush in various ways. The ADA also confirms that your toothbrushes can harbour bacteria. Fortunately, your immune system can help fight bacteria, germs, and other microorganisms on the toothbrush that could make you sick.
Below are several ways that your toothbrush can make you ill:
While you may have heard that you should replace a toothbrush after the flu or cold, that may only be necessary in some cases. In some illnesses, your immune system will have already developed the necessary defense to prevent re-infection. However, the toothbrush can cause reinfections in other cases. For instance, if you have strep and the bacteria colonizes your toothbrush, you can get strep again. Contact our dentist near you if you need help choosing a toothbrush and other oral products.
Bathrooms are moist, making them breeding grounds for bacteria and other microorganisms. Therefore, storing a wet toothbrush in the bathroom uncovered and near sinks makes them vulnerable to bacterial colonization.
Most bathrooms are small, meaning the toilet is very close to where you brush. Every time you flush the toilet, you spray bacteria into the air. Fecal coliform is a bacteria released in the air when the toilet is flushed. For this reason, it’s essential to keep brushes far away from the toilet. Since flushing can also pass bacteria to your hands, close the toilet lid when flushing and wash your hands after.
Running water over your toothbrush may not be enough to remove all bacteria and debris in your toothbrush. Bacteria can collect in a toothbrush, causing infections. The risk of bacteria buildup in the brush is higher if the toothbrush is worn or ragged. Use the tips below to prevent a germy toothbrush:
Use the tips below to store your toothbrush to keep it germ-free:
For more information about general dentistry, contact Asante Dental Centre.