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Biofilm: What Is It?


Posted on 4/20/2016 by Robert Leale
A woman suffering from biofilm on her teeth; and covering her smile with her hand!Have you ever heard of biofilm? When it comes to your mouth, the most common type is plaque, which is a sticky substance that forms on your teeth to cause gum disease and cavities.

This yellowish biofilm accumulates on the teeth and provides disease-causing bacteria for a home in which they can thrive. If it is left untreated and un-removed, it can eventually harden to form tartar, so it is important to see your dentist regularly to have these deposits removed before they can wreak further havoc on your teeth.

How Biofilm Forms

So, how exactly does that sticky substance form? First, free-swimming bacteria will adhere to a surface and arrange themselves, and the cells then start to produce a gooey matrix. The cells then begin to multiply to form a colony that serves as a habitat for a wide variety of bacterial species. Some bacteria may then escape from the matrix in order to form new biofilm colonies.

Keep Biofilm Under Control

In addition to being found in your mouth, biofilm can also accumulate on your dentures or dental appliances, such as mouth guards. This can increase your risk for gum disease or cavities. If you want to control the biofilm found on these appliances, keep the following tips in mind:

•  Remove your dentures at night and soak them in a denture cleaner.
•  Rinse out your mouth using an antibacterial mouthwash in order to kill bacteria.
•  Brush your teeth and the appliances and prostheses that go into your mouth in order to disrupt the biofilm. Antibacterial toothpaste is a good option during this task.
•  If your dentures are cracked or porous, make sure that you contact your dentist for a repair so that you aren't giving bacteria a place to hide out and multiply.

Do you think that you have a biofilm or plaque problem? Please contact us if you have any questions about ways to keep it under control.
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5901 N Lidgerwood St, Suite 225
Spokane, WA 99208

Phone: (509) 590-1763


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