bacteria that cause tooth decay

Streptococcus mutans species are one of the major bacteria that cause tooth decay. It is good to maintain good oral hygiene to prevent tooth growth and damage.

Bacteria that cause caries are microorganisms that restructure themselves in plaque . In practice, it appears as a white spot on the tooth, and as the cavity progresses, a hole forms, exposing the dentin.

This process consists of several stages in which tooth decay-causing bacteria alternate, and at each stage one of them predominates. In general, Streptococcus mutans bacteria are present early in the process, while Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria predominate in later stages.

Oral microbes are present in everyone, but bacteria that cause tooth decay are not present in healthy people. Among those who have teeth in perfect condition, streptococcal species predominate.

What is tooth decay?

Tooth decay is the destruction of tooth tissue by acids produced by bacteria that are deposited in plaque . It is a film formed on the teeth by bacteria that cause tooth decay.

There are several types of tooth decay.

  • Dental Crown: This is the most common type and occurs on the chewing surface. It can affect both children and adults. Streptococcus mutans species
  • Interdental or interdental: These occur in the spaces between teeth and are not easily recognized.
  • Roots: This mainly affects adults, especially the elderly, and is caused by the contraction of the gums. This exposes the root of the enamel-less tooth, making it more easily affected.
  • Recurrent or collateral: This appears next to a rod, cap, or crown placed by the dentist to treat other cavities.
Tooth decay comes from a process involving the formation of different bacteria.

bacteria that cause tooth decay

Bacteria of the Streptococcus mutans species are most abundant in dental plaque and show a high incidence in the early stages of caries. Bacteria of this type are gram-positive, conditionally anaerobic, and spherical. It belongs to the group of lactic acid bacteria and grows in low-pH environments.

The bacteria are transmitted from person to person and cling to teeth and gums to form piles. Often, and particularly deep caries, bacteria such as salivary streptococci, streptococci, and streptococcal clusters accompany them. Spread can be avoided with good dental hygiene habits.

In some caries, Streptococcus mutans is not present, but Streptococcus sobrinus, Streptococcus oralis and Streptococcus salivarius are present. When tooth decay has already occurred, various types of lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacilli) are present, among which Lactobacillus gasseri and Lactobacillus untunes predominate.

Another Bacterial Associated With Tooth Decay

Other bacteria that distinguish cavities are actinomycetes, particularly in the majority of root cavities. However, its role in the onset and progression of caries is unclear. This bacterium is one of the first bacteria to colonize a child’s mouth.

Bifidobacterium is an anaerobic bacillus of the same species and is normally present in the healthy intestine. Bifidobacterium dentium, inosinate, and denticles have been found in several cases of already advanced caries.

Prevotella is another anaerobic bacillus and is one of the most common types of oral cavities. It has been implicated in periodontal disease and nerve infections, but its role is not clear. On the other hand, many bayonella are found in the healthy oral cavity.

Proper dental hygiene is key to preventing tooth decay. Oral cleaning kills pathogenic bacteria.

How to get rid of tooth decay-causing bacteria

There are several factors that promote the growth of bacteria that cause tooth decay. The first is the excessive intake of carbohydrate-rich foods such as sweet drinks, snacks and bread. The more you eat, the greater your risk of developing tooth decay.

Other foods rich in starch, such as potatoes and bread, also promote the development of tooth decay. The way you eat can also affect the formation of cavities. It is better to consume these products all at once and not in small amounts over time. It is also important to know how to mix them.

Good oral hygiene is key. It is recommended to brush your teeth one hour after each meal. Also, floss and use a fluoride mouthwash and, of course, visit the dentist twice a year.

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