You might start brushing your teeth more after knowing this
We all know the importance of taking baths and ensuring that our bodies are properly cleaned. If we neglect it, that makes it all the easier for bacteria to accumulate there. The same goes for your mouth, where bacteria are prone to form under the tongue if it’s not cleaned properly. Here is an image for it:
Where would the bacteria live?
You wouldn’t have given this fact a thought till now. Still, certain bacteria live in harmony along with the areas of your epithelial cells, which are cells that come from surfaces of your body, such as your skin, blood vessels, urinary tract, or organs.
They serve as a barrier between the inside and outside of your body and protect it from viruses. These exist in the tongue as well, and that’s where the bacteria exist.
Streptococci are oxygen loving, round species that hang out around the exterior of the tongue since that makes it easier for them to be exposed to air and hence, survive. Then there are the Actinomyces, which thrive in the center of the bottom of your tongue.
Rothia is another kind that populates between the two borders of the tongue. There are others too, who prefer the borders.
So what do these guys do? They “excrete” a protective slime that forms a thriving and densely packed biofilm on the tongue. Bacteria like Actinomyces and Veillonella can turn nitrate derived from leafy green foods into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps in dilating blood vessels, which in turn controls our blood pressure.
While it does seem gross at first sight, unlike viruses, bacteria actually help our body in exchange for letting them live in it, which forms a symbiotic association between them and us.