Bacteria in Your Mouth Have Allies and Enemies

Bacteria causing cavities and gum disease do not act alone. Cartoons that show armies of bacteria attacking teeth may not be as ridiculous as they seem. Recent research shows that it’s not just the presence of bacteria that causes cavities and gum disease. It’s also how the bacteria structures or organizes other microbes around itself.

According to Sciencedaily.com, harmful bacteria will shield itself under blankets of sugar and other bacteria.

What Research Discovered about Bacteria Causing Cavities and Gum Disease

Using a three dimensional view, imaging showed bacteria that cause tooth decay. Layers of biofilm (plaque) encased the harmful bacteria. In fact, a multilayered community of bacteria protected the harmful bacteria. By examining the biofilm, layer-by-layer, researchers discovered architectural patterns.

For the study, they used teeth containing severe tooth decay that were extracted from children.

The bacteria formed a mound against the surface of a tooth. The harmful bacteria were in the core of a crown-like structure, surrounded by layers of other bacteria and a scaffold made of sugars. Acids and demineralization also were present where it attached to the tooth’s surface. The mound appeared as white spots on the tooth.

Researchers applied antimicrobial treatment to the tooth. When the surrounding structure was intact, the inner core of harmful bacteria was safe. When the antimicrobial treatment broke through the protective crown, the harmful bacteria died.

It was as though the bacteria had friends that protected it. Its army protected it against its enemies—the anti-microbial agents.

Researchers concluded that bacterial presence alone didn’t cause disease. How it structured and arranged other bacteria and microbial elements also were factors.

Do You Have Concerns about Dental Care?

Our dentists at Hutto Hippo Family Dental can help you get rid of harmful bacteria causing cavities and gum disease.