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The latest oral health news from the American Dental Association

Oral Care Glossary

Oral Care Glossary
Dental Speak, Defined.

Dentists and Hygienist have a language all their own. This guide breaks down the professional terminology into everyday language.

Oral Bacteria

The human mouth contains many different types of oral bacteria, both good and bad organisms. Some bacteria in the mouth perform important functions that help keep your mouth healthy. Unfortunately, some bacteria can also damage teeth. Two strains of bacteria found in the mouth are particularly destructive: Streptococcus mutans and lactobacilli. When these and other types of bacteria are allowed to flourish, they produce acid that causes tooth decay. Other oral bacteria that cause periodontal disease are actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, prophyromonas gingivalis, and bacteriodes forsythus. It is very important to brush and floss teeth daily to prevent damage to teeth and gum tissue caused by oral bacteria that develop in the mouth.

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