What is Biofilm on Teeth?

It’s possible that you’ve heard the word “biofilm” at one of your Reseda, CA dentist appointments. It’s important to understand that dental biofilm begins as a very thin, almost undetectable, coating on the surface of teeth. Biofilm is almost undetectable, although you might have a general feeling that your teeth need to be brushed. Biofilm is dangerous because it is the primary cause of many oral disorders, such as periodontitis and tooth decay. What exactly is this nearly invisible material that poses a threat to your oral health and well-being?

Colonies of Biofilm

The simplest way to think of a biofilm is as a collection of microscopic living creatures that grow together within a material that they create. There are literally hundreds of different types of bacteria that live within your mouth. Some of these bacteria are fairly prevalent and may be highly dangerous to your teeth and gums if they are not treated promptly. Others are less harmful or even beneficial.

When these biofilm type germs are not eliminated on a regular basis, they can lead to issues including periodontal disease, gingivitis, and cavities. Because they live in a protected matrix of what is effectively a slime of bacteria, layers upon layers, these bacteria may continue to carry out their nefarious work without fear of being discovered. When discovered in the mouth, this type of biofilm is referred to as “dental plaque.”

Combating an Enemy That Can’t Be Seen

As previously stated, the bacteria contained within a biofilm can cause a variety of oral diseases. When this biofilm is allowed to accumulate on the teeth and gums for an extended period of time, it might begin to manifest itself as a white or yellowish material. At that time, it may already be too late and some tooth damage may have already occurred, such as cavities, gingivitis and periodontitis.

Cavities are caused by bacteria that emit acids that eat away at the protective enamel coating of the teeth, causing them to become visible. Others cause gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gums that can progress to periodontitis, which is a more serious gum infection that can lead to tooth loss.

By practicing comprehensive and routine oral hygiene, you may avoid the accumulation of biofilm on your teeth. Contact your Reseda, CA dentist today to learn book your appointment.

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