When you hear the term biofilm, you may think it is the name of the next great Hollywood hit movie. If you think it is something we talk about in our office, you may think it is a new method for us to look at your teeth and gums.
It is neither. Despite the fact that many people do not know what biofilm is, that does not mean it is not important. Learning about biofilm can help you manage your oral health.
What is Biofilm
Even though most people have never heard of biofilm, that does not mean they do not have any. Biofilm is a term used to describe the collection of one or more types of microorganisms that grow on a surface. In the case of your mouth, the most common form of biofilm is plaque.
Biofilms occur in stages. In the first stage the organisms or bacteria of the biofilm begin to grow. As they grow, they look for a place to attach to. The second stage is when the groups of organisms find a surface on the teeth and gums to attach to. In the third stage of growth, the biofilms start to grow vertically. They attract more of the bacteria for growth. At some point they also start seeding more biofilms in other parts of the mouth.
What the Biofilms Do
Plaque is a biofilm that impacts your oral health. If you don't do anything to disrupt the growth of the plaque, it will continue to spread to other teeth and the gums and lead to problems with both. Cavities, tooth decay and gum disease are all a result of the biofilms that go unchecked.
The solution to biofilms is to disrupt them at the earliest stages. If you prevent them from attaching to the teeth or if you remove them before they continue to grow after they attach, you can prevent the plaque from building up and prevent problems. The way this is done is through good oral hygiene habits.
For more information about this or any other oral health issue, contact our office to schedule an appointment.