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For purposes of oral health there are three main types of bacteria in the mouth you need to know about:

  1. Aerobic bacteria live along the gum line and produce the white sticky stuff called plaque by your dentist. It is the stuff that causes gingivitis which is inflammation of the gums around your teeth. Signs of gingivitis are red bleeding gums when you brush and floss. The only way to remove plaque is to brush and floss it off.
  2. Anaerobic bacteria live under the gum line in the space between your teeth and gums which is called the ‘pocket’ by your dentist. These bacteria live best where it is dark and warm and don’t need oxygen to survive. They are usually more aggressive forms of bacteria and they can colonize, which can lead to more advanced stages of gum disease.
  3. Sulfur producing bacteria that can coat your mucosal surfaces and tongue and can sometimes lead to bad breath.

The main way to deal with bacteria in the mouth is through thorough daily homecare like brushing and flossing. Another technique that is not talked about very much is brushing your tongue after brushing your teeth.

Technique is very important when taking care of you teeth. You can do too little or too much, so be sure to see your dentist to get individual instruction and coaching about how best to clean your teeth and any individual needs you may have. Every mouth is different so there is not one way of cleaning your teeth that will work with everyone.

The reason why it is important to brush daily or twice daily is that bacteria will start to colonize and produce plaque on your gums in about 6-8 hours. Another way to create a better environment in your mouth and in your body as a whole is to take probiotics for healthy colonies of bacteria and a balanced PH.