If you share a bathroom with other people chances are your tooth brush is covered with fecal coliforms, a new research discovered. Data and samples collected by the researchers put forward the idea that there is a fecal coliform transmission in shared restrooms in toothbrushes which could result in the spread of possibly pathogenic organisms
“The major concern is not with the existence of your own fecal matter on your toothbrush, but rather when a toothbrush is contaminated with feces from someone else, which includes bacteria, viruses or parasites that are not part of your typical flora,” a graduate student at the Quinnipiac University in United States, Lauren Aber said.
Some bacteria that are probably present are enteric bacteria, belonging to the Enterobacteriaceae family, known as typical flora found in the digestive tract and pseudomonads bacteria, which belongs to the pseudomonas bacteria family that are gram-negative aerobic rods mostly found in water, soil, animals and plants. They are found in the normal gut flora and on the skin of human beings.
Toothbrushes from participants using communal restrooms were gathered. At least 60 % of the toothbrushes were tainted with fecal coliforms.
54.85 % of tooth brushes had fecal coliforms contamination, also seen in previous research studies as well. 80 % of the fecal coliforms seen on the tooth brushes comes from another person who makes use of the same bathroom.
“Using a toothbrush cover does not secure a toothbrush from bacterial development, however, it creates an environment where germs are much better suited to grow by keeping the bristles wet and not allowing the head of the toothbrush to dry in between uses,” said Aber.
Before concluding that, “Better hygiene practices are recommended for students who share bathrooms both in the storage of their toothbrush but also in personal health.”
Toothbrushes are a high source of infection. A 1920’s study thought that re-use of toothbrushes might be a probable cause of oral cavity.