Definition of Biofilm

A thin, slimy film of bacteria that adheres to a surface

What is biofilm?

Biofilm is a collection of one or more types of microorganisms that grow on many different surfaces. Microorganisms that form biofilms include bacteria, fungi, and protists. One example of a biofilm is a dental plaque, a slimy buildup of bacteria that forms on the surfaces of your teeth.

What is the purpose of biofilms?

Biofilms are multi-cellular communities formed by bacteria, Biofilm formation provides increased protection of bacteria from antibiotics and host defenses.

What is biofilm in the mouth?

Biofilm is a thin, slimy layer of bacteria that sticks to surfaces in the mouth, teeth, tongue, gums, and cheeks. … when oral health habits such as brushing, flossing, and rinsing are lacking, the biofilm can build turn into dental plaque (it is typically yellow in color) that you cannot see. The food you eat can stain plaque, If it has been there for day it can turn orange.

We all have biofilm, even the best brushers, flossers and rinsers, have it! The sticky film clings to nearly any surface that is wet It happens outside of our mouth too…(the bottom of the dog’s water bowl or baby pool, wet slippery rocks, or the underside of a boat).

The thicker the biofilm the more it can irritate gums and the body’s inflammatory response. This will make gums appear red and swollen instead of their normal healthy pink and firm state. If left untreated, gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease, which is completely reversible when action is swiftly taken, can progress into serious gum disease, called periodontitis, which can infect the bone.

Biofilm can make you sick?

Some medicines won’t work for people who are ill from biofilm infections. Biofilm can cause a variety of health problems.

Biofilm can form on the teeth of most humans and animals as dental plaque, which may cause tooth decay and gum disease if not removed regularly.

Biofilms are responsible for a number of diseases and because of the resistance to antibiotics and host defense systems, diseases are very difficult to treat effectively.

Health and disease

“The reason that biofilm formation is a great cause of concern is that, within a biofilm, bacteria are more resistant to antibiotics and other major disinfectants that you could use to control them,” said A.C. Matin, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford University.

Are biofilms bad or good?

Biofilms: The good, the bad, and the slimy. On the other hand, biofilms also play essential beneficial roles in ecosystems. They provide habitats for creatures in tidal pools and they decompose and recycle organic material and help keep nutrients circulating in the marine food chain.

What causes biofilm on teeth?

The biofilm and bacteria that form dental plaque are closely associated with cavity formation and gum disease, they thrive in acidic pH environments. If your oral pH drops each time you eat and drink (other than plain water) it makes you more susceptible to cavities and disease.

How do you remove plaque from teeth naturally?

Brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and flossing once daily are the best ways to remove plaque from teeth and prevent tartar from forming. Other home remedies that can remove plaque include oil pulling and brushing the teeth with baking soda or essential oils.

Dental implants are made of titanium and synthetic materials that replace missing teeth. People with implants can develop infections and inflammation around the implants.

Denture wearers frequently harbor biofilms that include Candida albicans, (yeast) a pathogenic fungus that colonizes the denture material. The prevalence of Candida in the mouth puts denture wearers at risk for denture stomatitis, an inflammation of the oral tissues. Soaking the dentures at night help prevent this.

The presence of biofilms, especially in the elderly population who are among the most vulnerable and lack the manual dexterity to clean their teeth and dentures mechanically, can lead not only to oral infections but also to fatal systemic infections.

Anti-plaque oral rinses have been proven to be effective against biofilms. Various enzymes have been added to mouth rinse formulations to help degrade the protein matrices of biofilms.

Natural, herbal-based mouth rinses are also available. Significant advances in our knowledge of biofilms have been happening over the course of the past decade. The development of biofilms and their structure have been the subject of many studies. The relationship between microbial ecology and oral and systemic disease has been well established. Controlling biofilm is just one piece of the complex puzzle. Your oral hygiene is key to maintaining not only oral health but overall health.

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