The Microflora of the Oral Cavity
The microflora in our mouth is made up of many different types of bacteria. They live on our tongue, gums, and teeth, and they stay with us throughout our lives. The bacteria in our mouth are important for our oral health and they play a role in various processes in our body. Some of these bacteria have enzymes that can change the environment around them.
On our teeth, there are billions of bacteria that form a sticky film called dental plaque. This plaque protects the bacteria and allows them to communicate with each other. They send messages and change their behavior based on the number of bacteria around them. When everything is working well, the plaque helps the "good" bacteria fight against the "bad" bacteria. But when things go wrong, like eating too much sugar, losing teeth, using braces, taking certain medicines, or having radiation treatment, the balance of bacteria in our mouth gets disrupted. This can lead to more harmful bacteria and oral problems like tooth decay, gum inflammation, gum disease, and mouth sores.
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