Most of us will be aware of the importance of keeping up with a good oral health routine.
It can help us avoid things like tooth decay, tooth loss and other oral problems such as infection.
Streptococcus Gordonii is a type of bacteria that can lead to serious oral conditions and complications, so it’s important that we know what it is and what it can do.
To learn more about it, read our guide below.
What Is Streptococcus Gordonii?
Bacteria calls itself home within us, and some can be very beneficial. When it comes to oral health, there are some bacteria that help us digest food and promote a good digestive system, including assisting with metabolism.
However, Streptococcus Gordonii is an example of a bad bacteria.
It’s a type of viridans streptococci and this bacteria collects together and binds to create the sticky layer over your teeth known as plaque.
This process is sped up with someone who partakes in a diet full of carbohydrates and does not practice good oral hygiene.
A highly acidic environment can be created and this leads to serious dental damage through cavities and the breakdown of tooth enamel.
In normal circumstances, your saliva will be able to combat this acidic environment, but this bacteria can use the sugar from your normal diet and this will then form a layer of thick plaque.
This in turn prevents your saliva from removing excess acid because it cannot penetrate the biofilm. Without treatment, you can develop things like tooth decay, tooth loss and other oral problems.
Infective Endocarditis And Streptococcus Gordonii
Infective endocarditis (or IE) is not very common but it can be life threatening. It’s a disease that can occur anywhere in the world.
Whilst a rare occurrence, IE can be caused by Streptococcus Gordonii due to oral procedures such as tooth extraction. It’s possible for the bacteria to then travel to the bloodstream which can complicate things further.
Does Streptococcus Gordonii Cause Disease?
There are different types of oral streptococci. Many do not lead to other symptoms but there are some that can lead to the development of things like a sinus infection and even pneumonia.
The severity of Streptococcus Gordonii increases when the bacteria travels to other parts of the body. If the bacteria manages to enter the bloodstream, you can be in a very dangerous position.
The chances of developing endocarditis are quite high if this occurs and this affects the lining of the heart.
If this does happen, you will have to be hospitalized and receive medical treatment through the use of intravenous antibiotics.
Those most at risk of this development are people with compromised immune systems or a pre-existing medical condition that affects the heart and cardiovascular system.
How Do You Prevent Streptococcus Gordonii?
To prevent any strain of viridans streptococci, you have to maintain a very high level of oral hygiene so that you do not risk the growth of this bacteria.
Therefore, the best things you can do is:
- Brush your teeth twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste
- Use floss in between brushing your teeth, especially after meals
- Keep your diet low in sugar and low in carbohydrates
- Keep a good routine with visiting your dentist for checkups and any treatment that is deemed necessary
- Always contact your dentist if you notice anything abnormal with your mouth or teeth
Is Streptococcus Gordonii Only Present In Your Mouth?
Not necessarily. Whilst this bacteria is typically present in your mouth and teeth, it has been found in other areas of the body.
As we previously mentioned, it’s possible that it can get into your bloodstream and therefore can be tested positively if you were to have a blood test.
Additionally, the bacteria has also been found present in wounds, eyes and female genitalia.
To prevent the spread of this bacteria, you should always practice good hygiene, both orally and generally.
Can You Die From Streptococcus Gordonii?
You can’t die directly from Streptococcus Gordonii but you can die from the complications that it leads to.
As we mentioned earlier, it can lead to heart conditions or worsen the pre-existing conditions which can lead to premature death.
Additionally, if you were to become infected through the bloodstream, you could potentially die from medical intervention.
The Bottom Line
Streptococcus Gordonii lives in our mouths and to prevent complications – we need to ensure a good oral hygiene routine!
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