The presents of nutrients, soft tissue and secretions make the mouth a favorite habitat for a great variety of bacteria. At birth, the oral cavity is composed solely of the soft tissue of the lips, cheeks, tongue and palate which are kept moist by the secretions of the salivary glands. The eruption of teeth during the first year leads to the colonization of some bacteria which require a non-epithelial (non-soft) surface and will inhabit this area for as long as teeth remain.
The creation of the supporting structure of the teeth increases the habitat for the variety of microbial species.
The complexity of the oral flora continues to increase with time, with more varieties to colonize around puberty. These bacteria benefit their host who provides nutrition and an ideal environment for these micro-organisms and these normally occurring bacteria make it more difficult for unfriendly invaders to become established.
Aging and menopause can bring oral health problems – the same processes that lead to loss of bone in the spine and hips can also lead to loss of the alveolar bone of the jaws, resulting in periodontal disease, loose teeth, and subsequently tooth loss.
To prevent serious damage, regular dental examinations and professional cleaning to remove bacterial plaque under the gum-line and daily oral hygiene practices are essential, including brushing, flossing and rinsing with salt-water solutions. Read more…