1. WARNING: This next statement is gross – but true. Bacteria are leaving droppings in your mouth every day – in the form of acid which is a waste product of their digestive processes.
2. Cavities are primarily caused by this bacterial acid eating through your teeth’s enamel.
3. Inflammation bleeding, and swelling of your gums (aka gingivitis) is also a result of bacterial acid and the irritation it causes.
4. Plaque is what we call the colonies of these acid producing bacteria that adhere to your teeth.
5. The longer plaque stays in your mouth; the more damage it does.
Everyone Hates Mouse Poop: Now let’s unpack all this in a way that’s easy to understand. If you discovered some mouse poop in your house would you ignore it? Would you be concerned that there was probably a mouse in your house? What if you found more and more mouse poop each day? Would you wait 6 months to get rid of it? Or would be anxious to rid your home of that poop and the pesky rodent that left it?
Now Compare Your Attitude About Bacterial Poop: The above scenario asks some obviously silly, rhetorical questions. Of course you’d deal with the mouse poop issue promptly. The thing is, when it comes to your mouth, similar issues get dealt with quite differently. Let me explain.
Waiting is a Bad Idea – But Insurance Companies Are Happy: In traditional dentistry, it has been common practice that a patient see a dental hygienist every 6 months to get their teeth cleaned professionally. The reason those regular professional cleanings are recommended in the first place is because most people are unable to keep plaque from forming on their teeth by simply following their traditional, at-home, teeth brushing regimens.
More Plaque Buildup = More Acid Damage: And since bacterial plaque develops very quickly in the right environments (like a pH imbalanced mouth for example), it means that the amount of waste product that these bacteria are regularly depositing in your mouth (aka acid), increases in direct proportion to the plaque colony’s expansion and its lack of effective removal.
You Spend More Money on Haircuts:
Therefore, delaying removal of those acid-producing plaque colonies is almost always a poor oral hygiene choice – one which was originally advanced by insurance companies trying to limit their costs of coverage.
Therefore, waiting on a 6-month interval to have your teeth professionally cleaned is, for many people, being penny wise and pound foolish, as they say. In fact, maintaining a poo-free mouth should certainly be as valuable to everyone as maintaining a good hairdo is– don’t you think? (bald people aside).
Not Our Idea Alone: Here’s what the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research says on the topic, “The longer plaque and tarter stay on your teeth, the more harmful they become.”
Conclusion: If you want to achieve and maintain good oral health, with naturally fresh breath and healthy teeth and gums, you need to begin to explore a new perspective on how to maintain a bacterially balanced mouth.
The first step down that road is to change your at-home, oral hygiene habits. The next step is to compliment those new at-home habits with a more aggressive, probiotically-focused regimen of adjunct care from your chosen dental professional.
In other words, first you remove the mice, then you buy a cat to deter the mice from coming back. The bad bacteria in plaque are the mice. Probiotics are the cat!