For many people out there, this might come as a huge shock when they find out that the mouth is the dirtiest part of the human body. Don’t believe it, just ask your voice assistant (Alexa, Cortana, or Google Home) and find out for yourself!
The mouth houses the most number of bacteria to an extent where even the rectal area of our bodies cannot compare. This gives all the more reason to be highly conscious of oral and dental hygiene.
According to a recent study by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), more than 1 in 4 or 26% of adults in the United States have untreated tooth decay. Furthermore, nearly 46% of adults over the age of 30 years show signs of gum disease, while 9% of adults suffer from severe gum disease.
Moreover, oral cancers are most common among older adults who smoke and are heavy drinkers at the age of 55 years or older.
In light of this information, let’s take a quick look at some of the reasons why the mouth is the dirtiest part of the body.
Acid reflux is a pretty common condition where a person may feel a burning sensation which is also known as heartburn in the lower chest area. This occurs when the stomach acid flows back up into the food pipe.
However, people diagnosed with GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) can experience acid reflux happening more than twice a week. Unfortunately, that is not all since acid reflux can also cause regurgitation of food or sour liquid.
This means that food that was swallowed earlier and the acid of the stomach is forced back up into your mouth, yuck!!! For GERD patients, this can get even more difficult because that means they might have acid fluid running into their mouth while they sleep. Ugh! I think dealing with Germophobia is much better!
Awash with Bacteria
If you didn’t know just how much bacteria is present in our mouths, then here is a hint for you, there is an entire ecosystem for them, and that is known as oral ecology! By the 17th century scientists had already detected bacteria on a biofilm; however, the extent of these bacteria was discovered later.
Various types of bacteria, along with saliva, exist in our mouths, where some can be harmful while others support the immune systems.
However, the worry some part is that the human mouth has around 500 to 1,000 different types of bacteria, yikes!!! Furthermore, some 100 to 200 species may occur in human flora and oral microbiology.
People who practice good oral hygiene have somewhere around 1,000 to 100,000 bacteria living on each tooth surface, while a less clean mouth can have somewhere between 100 million or 1 billion bacteria.
Also known as halitosis, bad breath is probably the most embarrassing for people and can even cause anxiety. However, a lot of store shelves are overflowing with mouthwashes and gum mints, but they hardly ever deal with the primary cause.
Bad breath is commonly caused by unhealthy eating habits, poor oral and dental hygiene, and other health conditions. Surprisingly there are people who are over conscious and worry about odors even when they have little to no mouth odor, while others simply just don’t care. Major reasons for bad breath include:
- Food breakdown in your mouth and residues that stick inside your mouth
- Eating certain food items frequently like garlic, onions, and spices
- Using tobacco products
- Poor dental hygiene
- Dry mouth is also known as Xerostomia
- Infections of the mouth
- Small stones in the tonsils that contribute to postnasal drip
- Metabolic disorders, GERD, cancer, etc.
A biofilm of bacteria, dental plaque is made of microorganisms which are mostly bacteria and can also include fungi. At first deposit, it is a colorless sticky substance, but over time it starts to form tartar in the mouth, and this makes it brown or pale yellow.
Dental plaque often occurs when food items such as candy, cakes, milk, raisins, soft drinks or those containing carbohydrates are frequently left on the teeth. Bacteria in our mouth thrive on these substances, and this increases their growth massively, thus producing acids as a result. If not kept under strict check, this plaque can bring harm to your mouth by causing tooth decay and gum disease.
Periodontitis is the term that is referred to for gum disease, and in severe conditions, it can damage soft tissue as well as the bone that supports your teeth. Though periodontitis is common, it can be largely prevented. It can cause your teeth to loosen and can even lead to tooth loss. Major causes include:
- Poor oral hygiene (the number one factor that contributes to gum disease)
- Plaque that is unchecked causes acid to be produced that can damage your gums
- Smoking or chewing tobacco makes your mouth more vulnerable to infections
- Hormonal shifts in females such as during pregnancy or menstrual cycles
- Nutritional deficiencies and low intake of Vitamin C
- Family history or crooked teeth
Medical Symptoms Deteriorate Oral Hygiene
Our oral health can cause other medical problems to develop, making it significantly more important than ever. Students looking for a reliable assignment writing service should never negate the importance of good oral hygiene. There are some medical conditions that can worsen your oral health. These include:
- AIDS/HIV – People who have HIV/AIDS suffer from a range of problems, and it is common for them to develop oral health problems such as painful mucosal lesions.
- Alzheimer’s Disease – In many cases and scientific observations, a progression of Alzheimer’s disease in a person was also known to cause the worsening of oral health.
- Diabetes – Diabetic patients can experience lower resistance to infection, and this is where gums become increasingly vulnerable. Plus gum disease also causes difficulty in managing blood sugar levels.
- Osteoporosis – The weakening of bones due to this disease has also been observed to cause periodontal bone loss and tooth loss. Plus certain drugs used to treat Osteoporosis can also cause a slight risk of damaging the bones of the jaw.
Residues, after we eat, can be quite damaging for our oral health. As food particles remain in our mouth undetected, they slowly breakdown with bacteria thriving, and this could again lead to the formation of plaque on our teeth. Hence as a reasonable person, you should always practice rinsing your mouth clean after every meal.
Dental floss is also a good option as it can help you to remove residue and other leftover particles along with a tongue scraper to maintain oral health. Expert essay writers follow oral hygiene practices as it improves their cognitive capacities.
Tooth decay occurs when the enamel of the tooth is damaged. This mostly happens when bacteria are allowed to cultivate in your mouth due to poor oral hygiene. Thus acids form that attack the surface of your teeth. If allowed to progress, tooth decay can lead to the creation of cavities, cause tormenting pain, result in infections, and complete loss of the tooth.
Use of Tobacco
Tobacco is by far the worst of all when it comes to damaging your health. Smoking a cigarette can lead to a wide variety of health problems and adverse oral effects. This can include gingival recession, mucosal lesions, oral cancers, periodontal disease, and tooth staining. Smokers are also six times more likely to develop gum disease.
Your oral health is a vital part of your personality and intimacy. However, poor oral health can lead to various other complications such as cardiovascular disease, complications during pregnancy, diabetes, dementia, respiratory infections, and even infertility, to name few. I hope this post was able to offer you some meaningful insights to encourage you to follow best practices when it comes to oral health and hygiene.
Author Bio: Claudia Jeffrey currently works as an Assistant Manager for Research & Development at King Essay and Crowd Writer. This is where higher education students can buy essay from professionals specializing in their field of study. During her free time, she likes to play popular tunes on the banjo to entertain her loved ones.