It's something none of us want to think about - the millions of bacteria living, growing and multiplying on our bodies. There is a ratio of 1.3 bacteria to each human cell, according to researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. Some of them are useful, helping with digestion and waste disposal - some are simply infectious dirt. For those curious about the microscopic organisms lurking in our hair, mouth, skin, lungs and gut... here is a closer look. These colorful diagrams look like artwork.
There is nothing as beautiful as a shiny white smile. Yet many of us fail to give our teeth the attention they deserve - or are unwittingly brushing our them in the wrong way. Failing to do this properly can lead to a build up of plaque - which causes tooth decay and can lead to gum disease. And gum disease - known as gingivitis to dentists - has been linked with other health issues including including heart problems, kidney disease, diabetes and even certain types of cancer. Just yesterday, scientists revealed a link between harmful bacteria in the mouth and pancreatic cancer - thought to be cayreleased into the bloodstream.
First, there was the issue of whether flossing really helps lower the risk for tooth decay and gingivitis. And now, questions about how often we really need to get dental X-rays have made the news. The bottom line is that, clinically, these are complex issues that can't easily be reduced to a simple soundbite. Maybe it's time to take a step back and talk about something we can all agree on – toothbrushing. Selfies make people more self-conscious about changing their toothbrushing approach and can'override' their habitual way of brushing, says Lance Vernon, a professor of dentistry at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland As a dentist, educator and clinical researcher, I was involved in a very small study, conducted in India, that examined whether taking a smart phone video selfie might help people learn to brush their teeth in a more effective manner.
They may look more like the grasping fronds of sea anemones on an underwater coral reef, but these brightly coloured creatures actually live in your mouth. Using a scanning electron microscope, scientists have been able to capture images of the bacteria living in the darkest crevices of the human mouth. Magnified by up to ten thousand times and highlighted using false colouring, these microbes can be found growing on the inside of your cheeks, gums and your teeth. While they might look like an underwater sea anemone, these long strands are actually bacteria growing inside of the human mouth. While some of the cells are harmless, and even beneficial by helping to control levels of harmful bacteria, others are responsible for the build up of plaque that causes tooth decay.