Are Oral Bacteria Bad?

Discover the truth!

about oral bacteria choices in dentistry chicago IL

“What comes to mind when you think of bacteria? Bacteria are important elements of your natural microbiome. This is bacterial balance.”

Are bacteria in your mouth normal?

We’ve all heard the term “harmful bacteria,” but now we know that bacteria are not harmful unless there is an imbalance. There are undoubtedly various species of bacteria that are hazardous to human health and we want to avoid (these are called pathogenic bacteria due to their ability to cause disease), but there are more than 700 known species of bacteria living in our mouths and the vast majority are essential to our overall health.

A microbiome is a type of intricate ecosystem, and like any ecosystem, its composition needs to remain balanced in order to function properly. Even within our mouths, we have unique microenvironments on our teeth, tongue, hard palate, and around our gums. So instead of seeing all bacteria as “bad” or “abnormal,” it’s more helpful to consider the kind of oral bacteria and whether they are contributing to a balanced and healthy microbiome.

We have a microscope to screen your bacteria and OralDNA for quantitative analysis of your microbiome.

Can bacteria in your mouth make you sick?

Yes, bacteria in your mouth can make you sick. Various types of pathogenic bacteria (including species such as Streptococcus and Gemella) can invade the mouth and build up on various surfaces. When these harmful bacteria spread throughout the mouth, they can lead to a host of illnesses including strep throat and gum disease.

But these pathogens don’t just contribute to dental infections. They can actually increase the likelihood of developing sickness in other areas of your body, particularly your gut. Every time you swallow, or even breathe in, both good and bad bacteria travel down your gastrointestinal tract and into your gut. Bacteria can also travel through the bloodstream, leaving the rest of your body at risk. Health conditions that can be related to oral bacteria include:

  • Inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetic complications
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Stroke

What are the benefits of bacteria?

As we mentioned earlier, most bacteria are essential to our health. They aid us in basic functions like digestion, healing, and the creation of antibodies that help us fight off infections and disease. Oral bacteria not only promote general health, but they also have numerous oral health benefits. A healthy microbiome filled with good bacteria prevents plaque build-up and tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease.

How can I tell if I have gum disease?

Gum disease is an infection characterized by inflammation of the gums. It occurs when harmful bacteria build up on the surface of your teeth near your gums. In the early stage, is known as gingivitis, as it progresses it causes bone loss and is diagnosed as periodontitis. Catch it early to stop the progressions. 

Our Florida Probe provides a high-tech diagnosis by providing uniformity in measuring pocket depths. Salivary analysis to look at your bacterial makeup. x-rays evaluate bone loss, and iTero scanner to monitor recession. . But there are a number of more recognizable signs that might indicate gum disease, including:

  • Receding gums
  • Swollen or inflamed gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Chronic bad breath

How can you help me cure gum disease?

At Choices in Dentistry, we offer several high-tech options for our patients. We tackle the prevention and treatment of gum disease with a comprehensive and integrative approach that improves your overall systemic health, promotes bacterial awareness, and gives you choices.

We offer Perio Protect, a proven method that utilizes custom trays to prevent gum disease and improve the overall health and appearance of your smile. Perio Protect is an easy, non-invasive approach to treatment, and your tray can last as long as five years. We also implement OralDNA and salivary testing to give accurate measurements of the bacteria in your mouth and how they change over time. Ozone treatments can also be very beneficial and applied during each appointment at our office.

Just switched to this practice…10/10 for office environment, updated technology and processes, staff knowledge and demeanor, and efficiency.

Sarah H.

Office Information

Monday : 10am - 6pm
Tuesday : 9:30am - 5:30pm
Wednesday : 8am - 4pm
Thursday : 8am - 4pm
Friday : 8am - 3pm
Saturday & Sunday : Closed

(312) 368-8771

25 E. Washington Street
Suite 1101
Chicago, IL 60602
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Make the right choice

Schedule your new patient appointment today and see what integrative dentistry is all about. Start on the path to lifelong dental health and wellness.

Are you interested in a second opinion? Call our office (312) 368-8771.