Oral bacteria are some of the microorganisms that are mainly found inside the oral cavity of organisms such as humans. The oral cavity provides conducive survival conditions to these bacteria which include moderated warmth, balanced moist conditions and so on. While in the oral cavity, these bacteria always interact among themselves and also between them and the host organism. By doing this, the bacteria are able to undertake different roles so as to support their existence in the oral cavity. Some of the bacteria may be harmful to the host but many of them are usually helpful in more than one way.
Research has it that newborn babies do not harbor oral bacteria during the period which they are toothless. Once teeth start protruding, these bacteria rapidly invade the oral cavity and start colonizing it immediately. The bacteria get access to the cavity through various modes such as when the mother breast feeds the baby, when the mother kisses the baby and so on. Bacteria such as Streptococcus salivarius, are among the first microorganisms to invade the cavity. They are regarded as harmful to the human mouth because they have the ability to consume refined sugar and in turn release acid. Most of the time, the body immune system is prepared to counter this action but for young babies who still have their immune system underdeveloped, the acid appears to supersede the action taken by the immune system. When this happens, the baby's teeth get to react with this acid and as a result of this action, the baby experiences the problem of teeth cavity. To avoid this from happening, it is usually advisable not to feed the baby with food staffs containing a lot of refined sugar.
The oral flora are other types of oral bacteria that exist in the oral cavity. These bacteria are most of the times, perceived to be beneficial to the host. They always look out for us by destroying any pathogens that may want to invade the oral cavity and cause problems to the host. The bacteria produce toxins that ensure the foreign agents do not get any chance to survive in this territory. The oral flora also train the immune system always to be alert and be in a position where it can distinguish between toxins the system should allow and toxins that the system should not allow to exist in the oral cavity.
It is believed that most of the oral bacteria belong to a group of bacteria known as biofilms which comprise of microbial communities of bacteria. This feature helps the oral bacteria to communicate using identified protein adhesins. Signaling molecules can also be used as modes of communication among intra-species ( within the species) of oral bacteria and also among inter-species ( between one specie and another) of the same oral bacteria.
For those of you who may have a low immune system count, you can be immunized or get vaccinated against infections caused by oral bacteria. However, these vaccines differ depending on the infection you want to be guarded from. For example, when you want to avoid suffering from dental caries, proteins used by Streptococcus mutans to colonize teeth could be used to produce antibodies to inhibit the cariogenic process. After this development is complete, you can be immunized with these antibodies that will be used to help your immune system to fight the disease when it occurs. On the other hand, for those who may like to be vaccinated against periodontitis, the vaccines are somehow underdeveloped at the moment. However, some antigen targets have been established which can help in the process of improving the vaccine to be in a position that can help you get satisfied.
Wangeci Kinyanjui is an expert on research and reporting on Health Matters for years. To get more information on oral bacteria visit her site at ORAL BACTERIA .