It’s just over three minutes in length, but this Discovery Channel video does an excellent job in explaining the 700 types of bacteria which can be present in the mouth, both good and bad, and in encouraging regular dental checkups. The only part they got wrong is in the intro. “No one likes going to the dentist, but you should all go every year.” Dr. Randy Feldman, Chief Smile Officer adds, “Some people LIKE going to the dentist, and some should go MORE than once a year.”
The video goes on to stress avoidance of infection in “the biggest hole in your head.” Most people only host between 34 and 72 varieties of bacteria. Some of the bacteria are harmless. Others as the video mentions are probiotics and help you digest food.
On to the bad bacteria. Streptococcus mutans feeds on the sugars and starches that you eat and produces enamel-eroding acid as a byproduct. And how about Porphyromonas gingivalis? This bacterium is most clearly associated with periodontitis. Periodontitis, may affect more than 90 percent of people over 13 to some degree, is an inflammation of the tissue that joins the teeth and gums; it’s marked by pain and irreversible loss of attachment of teeth to supporting structures.
For most of us, regular check-ups and cleanings can help to eliminate plaque the soft, sticky film that builds up on your teeth and contains millions of bacteria. The bacteria in plaque cause tooth decay and gum disease if they are not removed regularly through brushing and flossing. The video narrator explains that if not removed, plaque hardens and becomes tartar, which can go below your gumline causing inflammation and infection. That can open a pathway to bacteria into your bloodstream, heart, and other organs.
The video cites a number of studies that show the link between oral health and overall health, and oral health and specific health issues. Three minutes and twenty seconds is all it takes to watch the video in its entirety. We guarantee that after you do, you will at least want to brush and floss at your next opportunity, and will consider looking at your calendar to schedule your next visit with a good dentist. Share this video and blog with your friends and family. Keep smiling.