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Is There Good Bacteria In Your Mouth?

Published date field Last Updated:

Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

When you hear the word "bacteria," you may typically think of the germs that make you sick during cold and flu season. But, when it comes to mouth bacteria, you may be surprised to know that there are many good bacteria in your mouth. Healthy bacteria are responsible for keeping harmful germs at bay. Get to know the good bacteria in your mouth, and you may not be so quick to banish them all.

What Kind of Bacteria Are in Your Mouth?

Although it's true, some bacteria in your mouth can cause diseases like gingivitis and tooth decay, not all bacteria are bad. Good bacteria, like probiotics, play a specific part in maintaining good oral health, breaking down food, and keeping your breath fresh.

Probiotics such as bacteria, fungus, and yeasts prevent the invasive growth of other harmful microbiomes. The long list of good bacteria also assists with specific functions in the mouth and digestive system to help digest sugar and milk or wash away food particles to prevent decay.

What Does Good Bacteria Help With?

Promoting good bacteria growth critical to protecting your mouth and your overall health. Harmful bacteria can lead to some serious health issues if they get out of hand. Here are some of the health benefits of good bacteria:

  • Stopping Bad Breath: Healthy mouth bacteria fight against germs that emit a foul odor. Good bacteria can effectively help your breath stay in neutral territory.
  • Food Digestion Help: Sure, the stomach gets all the credit when it comes to digestion, but the actual breakdown of the proteins and sugar in your food starts in the mouth. Healthy bacteria help aid the process for better digestion.
  • Maintaining a Healthy Oral Microbiome: A balanced oral microbiome has anti-inflammatory properties and contains bacteria that can keep you safe from pathogens that cause oral diseases, according to a study published in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology.

How Do You Maintain a Good Balance of Mouth Bacteria?

Your mouth is filled with its own "checks and balances" system. A good balance of mouth bacteria can be achieved with a regular oral care routine and a nutritious diet.

  • Regular Oral Hygiene is essential to have a beneficial amount of good bacteria in your mouth. By practicing habits like toothbrushing after every meal, you're assisting your good bacteria in banishing the bad. However, bacteria grow even after brushing your teeth, so that's why daily oral hygiene and regular dental care are important.
  • A Nutritious Diet can foster a healthy environment for good bacteria to thrive. Eating right replenishes your body with nutrients that provide the energy your immune system needs to function correctly. A good diet can also help you maintain a healthy amount of good mouth bacteria by balancing the pH in your mouth.

Good bacteria are essential for a healthy mouth. They help to defend against oral disease and bad breath. With a nutritious diet and proper oral care routine, you can keep your mouth bacteria in check so you can enjoy a bright, healthy smile.


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This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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