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Sharing the toothbrush - Free invitation to all bacteria

What sounds to some like pure recklessness, almost bordering on madness, is to a few others normality. A really borderline normality from a health point of view, because it is almost as dangerous as climbing unsecured or cycling blindfolded: Sharing one and the same toothbrush with others.

And we're not exaggerating in our comparisons. Depending on how each other's oral flora looks like, this can really be a threat to the health. Unfortunately, this is only known in hindsight. We want to take a closer look at this here, so that you know exactly what risks and dangers come from this lifestyle. It seems that many people are not aware of the risks they take when they share their toothbrush with other people.

Mouth full to the brim with bacteria

In our mouth a large amount of different bacteria accumulate within a very short time. This is not a bad thing per se, because only the many bacteria are responsible for our distinctive oral flora, which is also healthy for humans.

In order not to let the bacterial population gain the upper hand and to ban the harmful organisms among them from our mouths, we have to brush our teeth from time to time. In the rest of the oral cavity, i.e. tongue, palate, throat and cheek cavities, there is enough bacterial variety to prevent the harmful bacteria from settling there in the long term and causing serious damage. This happens by the constant exchange and the addition of immune system cells and useful bacteria, which the body partly produces itself.

Our teeth, however, unlike the soft mucous membranes in our mouth, are not really in motion. They need to be cleaned from the outside because otherwise the harmful bacteria can accumulate and attach themselves to their hard outer shell. Once this has happened, they start to constantly feed on the material on which they adhere and multiply. It is a kind of cycle that can only be interrupted by something bigger, more evil coming to them and killing them. Of course, we are talking here about the toothbrush, against which they have no chance.

The problem, which unfortunately arises now, is due to the fact that in principle each immune system of every human being is structured quite differently. Every person has had different experiences with pathogens, or, for example, a completely different approach to nutrition. It does not only depend on what you eat, but also on how much you eat.

The individuality of the immune system

If we now use the toothbrush of a fellow human being, we run the risk of spreading the pathogens that were previously attached to his teeth and are now on the toothbrush on our teeth and in our oral cavity. And with a bit of bad luck, our immune system may not have the right answers to the pathogens, so to speak opponents, and the pathogens may spread unhindered in our body, whereupon we may even become seriously ill. For the same reason, we don't use the same cutlery as someone we eat with at the table.

And it doesn't really make the slightest difference who it is that a toothbrush is shared with, because in the end it doesn't matter what percentage of DNA you share. The immune system does not have much, in any case not enough, to do with DNA to make it a significant factor. The immune system is a constantly learning and improving program on our computer called body. DNA is just the operating system that keeps the computer running in the first place. Nevertheless, even the most powerful computer can fall victim to a virus for which it is not prepared.

In retrospect, this means that it doesn't matter whether we share a toothbrush with our parents, children, uncles, aunts and so on, whether we share it with a lover or close friends with whom we have no DNA match.

By the way: Many people believe that according to the above-mentioned logic it would also be a health hazard if couples kissed. A kiss, however, is limited in almost all cases to the exchange of saliva, the teeth normally do not come into contact with each other.

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