A healthy mouth is not one free of bacteria. Scientists have isolated over 1000 types of bacteria from the human mouth, some beneficial and others that cause tooth decay, gum disease, bad
breath and even infections of the face, brain, heart, and liver. Dr. Dixon, your San Diego dentist, wants to educate you on how to balance mouth bacteria and achieve a truly happy mouth.
Mouth Bacteria: The Good and The Bad
We can never rid the mouth of all the harmful pathogens; however, the key to a happy mouth is keeping the microbes in harmony and the beneficial bacteria in the majority.
Healthy bacteria like those found in probiotics may be responsible for triggering the enzymatic reaction that begins the digestion of your food. They can improve or stimulate salivary
production which helps to clean the mouth of food particles, sugar and harmful germs that can lead to oral health problems. Scientists also believe that good bacteria, like Streptococcus
salivarius K12, can effectively cancel out the bacteria that cause bad breath.
The primary culprit of tooth decay is sugar-loving organisms such as Streptococcus mutans that produce acid and dissolve enamel. Some researchers have hypothesized that these bacteria
benefit from an acidic environment and that their helpful cousins have an advantage in a more alkaline setting.
How to Balance Mouth Bacteria
The environment of a healthy mouth is slightly alkaline, and scholars have speculated that an acidic diet can have an adverse effect.
Although the benefits of an alkaline diet in preventing tooth decay and associated maladies is controversial; a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has concluded that “alkaline diets may result in many health advantages.” They cited benefits that included:
- an increase in bone health
- a reduction of muscle wasting
- mitigation of other chronic diseases such as hypertension and strokes
The report mentioned that a resultant rise in growth hormone with an alkaline diet might improve many outcomes from cardiovascular health to memory and cognition and increase the function of many enzyme systems.
What Does an Alkaline Diet Look Like?
As a rule of thumb, a beneficial alkaline diet consists of 70% alkaline foods such as veggies and legumes and 30% acidic foods like meats and carbs.
Here are some tips on how to balance mouth bacteria by eating a more alkaline diet:
- Increase your intake of fresh fruits, vegetables, roots, nuts, and legumes.
- Limit meats, eggs, refined sugars, dairy and white flour. Limit alcoholic beverages which have a high sugar content and are highly acidic.
- Add alkaline water to your diet.
The Benefits of a Happy Mouth
Have you learned the secret to a healthy and happy mouth and how to balance good bacteria? The answer from your dentist in San Diego is simple.
Brush after meals and floss once a day to keep the bad bugs at bay. Make sure to schedule and keep your biannual hygiene and dental visits, and choose a healthy, alkaline diet. We look forward to helping you and your family achieve oral health that will improve your total body wellness.