There are numerous bacteria in the mouth. In fact, it is estimated that there are about 100 million bacteria in every millimeter of saliva. These correspond to more than six hundred species of bacteria! In the mouth, therefore, there are perfect living conditions for countless microorganisms. In this article, we will tell you what kind of bacteria live in your mouth.
Despite this, many bacteria in our mouths do not survive for long. Many of them face an attack by saliva enzymes, while others of them travel to the digestive tract, where they are quickly destroyed.
It should also be mentioned that some bacteria survive and remain alive in the mouth. When this happens, problems such as tooth decay or other oral diseases can arise. The best way to combat them is good oral hygiene.
What kind of bacteria live in the mouth?
There are many surfaces in the mouth, each covered by many bacteria. Some bacteria in our mouth, for example, contribute to the development of holes or periodontitis (periodontitis). Both of these are risk factors for other, more serious diseases, including diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease.
The range and number of bacteria in our mouth depends on several factors:
- Nutrient availability
- Oxygen content
- Anatomical features
- Exposure to immunological factors
Oral bacteria as well as other microorganisms are known as oral microbiomes. This population is not established, but is constantly changing from factors as simple as yawning, kissing, or eating certain foods.
In general, the mouth prevailing in aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, both Gram-positive and Gram-negative. Of these, the species lactobacilli, actinobacilli, staphylococcus and streptococcus stand out in particular .
We look at them in more detail below.
Saliva and bacteria
Saliva contains mainly facultative anaerobic gram-positive coccacterial bacteria, which cover about 44% of the bacterial population. The second most abundant are anaerobic gram-negative coccacteria, which make up about 15% of the bacterial population. Gram-positive facultative anaerobic bacilli cover an equal percentage of bacteria.
For example, missing teeth and diseases such as gingivitis, alveolitis, or periodontitis can cause changes in the salivary microbiome. Smoking and poor hygiene can also contribute.
What kind of bacteria live in the mouth: oral mucous membranes
The most common bacteria in the oral mucosa are as follows:
- Brand cubes – mainly from the Streptococcus and Veillonella genera
- Proteobacteria – especially Neisseria
- Bacteroids – Prevotella
- Actinobacteria – Micrococcineae
Good oral mucosal hygiene can prevent many different types of bacteria from nesting there. According to some studies, bacteria in the oral mucosa may be associated with certain cancers.
If your teeth do not have holes, the most common bacteria are:
- Streptococcus – especially Streptococcus sanguinis
The following bacterial species are also found, especially in adults: Haemophilus parainfluenza , Gemella haemolysans , Slackia exigua and Rothia .
Teeth are usually surfaces that promote the formation of biofilms. These biofilms can do different things depending on several factors. Some bacteria, such as Streptococcus mutans , Actinomyces, and lactobacilli, contribute to the development of cavities and periodontitis.
What kind of bacteria live in the mouth: gums
A biofilm can also form in the gums, which contributes to the development of gingivitis, for example. In healthy gums, the most common microorganisms are proteobacteria, which usually include gamma proteobacteria from the genera Akinetobacter, hemophilus, and moraxella. If you have a health problem, you may also find streptococci, Granulikatella and Gemella in your gums.
Treponema denticola may also be present on the surface of the gingival biofilm together with Porfyromonas gingivalis and Tannerella forsythia . Viruses and sometimes fungi can also be found there. However, oral diseases affect the type of bacteria that live in the mouth.
Bacteria of the tongue
The biofilm formed in the tongue also changes and is inhabited by many oral bacteria. About 45% are facultative anaerobic gram-positive coccacterial bacteria. This include Streptococcus salivarius, a second Streptococcus mitis Miller streptococci group, and Streptococcus mucilaginosus.
Strictly anaerobic gram-negative cooking bacteria and gram-positive facultative anaerobic bacilli can also be found there. In addition, there may be to a lesser extent different bacterial species of the genera Lactobasillus , Neisseria , Fusobacterium and Haemophilus .
The following bacteria are found on the tongue of people suffering from bad breath: Fusobacterium nucleatum , Porphyromonas gingivalis and Tannerella forsythia.
Amazing how much life there can be in our mouths!
Prevention of pathogenic bacteria in the mouth
Good oral hygiene is key to preventing disease-causing microorganisms in the mouth. Regular dental visits also help identify risk factors and illnesses in their early stages, allowing you to stop them before they cause permanent harm.
If you have any questions or the last orthodontic examination has already passed, make an appointment with your dentist soon!