Do you floss your teeth and visit your dentist regularly? No? Well, congratulations gingivitis shall soon rent a room in your teeth.
A recent study on good oral health published in the journal Scientific Reports found a correlation between people who did not visit the dentist regularly and an increased presence of a pathogen that causes periodontal disease, gingivitis.
The oral microbiome–the sum total of microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi, that occupy the human mouth—was the subject of a crowd-sourced, citizen science-driven study by Jessica Metcalf’s research lab at CSU and Nicole Garneau’s research team at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.
For the experiments, carried out by Garneau’s community science team in the Genetics of Taste Lab at the museum, a wide cross-section of museum visitors submitted to a cheek swab and answered simple questions about their demographics, lifestyles and health habits.
Microbial DNA sequencing data analyzed by Metcalf’s group revealed, broadly, that oral health habits affect the communities of bacteria in the mouth.
Floss your way to good oral health
The study also grouped people who flossed or didn’t floss. From the study, it was found that participants who flossed were found to have lower microbial diversity in their mouths than non-flossers.
This is most likely due to the physical removal of bacteria that could be causing inflammation or disease. It is also important to stop chomping onto food and drinks that increase the amount of bacteria in your teeth.
What happens when you don’t visit your dentist often?
Adults who had gone to a dentist in the last three months had lower overall microbial diversity in their mouths than those who hadn’t gone in 12 months or longer and had less of the periodontal disease-causing oral pathogen, Treponema. This, again, was probably due to dental cleaning removing rarer bacterial taxa in the mouth.
Now, let’s be honest ladies ! How often do we schedule a visit to the dentist or pick up a pack of floss at the grocery store for our oral health? It’s time we go out and take action before our teeth lose every trace of wisdom.