Medically Reviewed by Jilian Lopiano
Table of Contents
Did you know that millions of microscopic microorganisms such as bacteria live in your mouth? When there is an excess of these bacteria, many events are triggered that can cause bad breath, tooth sensitivity and other health problems caused by a dental biofilm.
Today, on The Dental District blog, we’ll tell you what this dental biofilm is, how it forms, and prevention measures to keep it away from your mouth.
What is dental biofilm?
Do you remember the millions of bacteria that live in your mouth? These are not always harmless: when they are in excess they begin to interact with the environment, weakening tooth enamel. Dental biofilm is an accumulation of bacteria that hardens and forms tartar; which is hard bacterial plaque that is difficult to remove with tooth brushing.
Differences between biofilm and bacterial plaque
It is important to clarify that biofilm is not the same as bacterial plaque. Communities of bacteria coexist in plaque that adhere to moist surfaces and form new colonies to continue growing and expanding in your mouth. This layer of microscopic bacteria is the biofilm.
As we mentioned, the biofilm, together with saliva and food residues, forms tartar and, therefore, damages the dental surface. In addition, it is responsible for caries and periodontal diseases since it is very resistant to brushing, mouthwashes and antimicrobial treatments.
What is dental tartar?
Tartar is the hardened bacterial plaque on the surface of the teeth. This mass forms between the teeth, at the gums edges or under them and causes irritation of the gingival tissue.
This tartar provides bacterial plaque with a larger surface to grow, colonize and form more dental biofilm to which it easily adheres. In addition, tartar is visible as it looks like a yellowish layer between the teeth, which gives the appearance of lack of hygiene, dirt and can cause very unpleasant breath.
Symptoms of dental biofilm
Dental biofilm is difficult to identify with the naked eye, and in many cases does not cause apparent or spectacular symptoms. Therefore, when people become aware of the problem until it becomes visible, that is, when it has already hardened and tartar has formed.
However, dental biofilm does usually cause symptoms such as swollen gums, bleeding when brushing, bad breath, fungi such as Candida albicans (which is usually part of the biofilm colony of microorganisms), tooth sensitivity and cavities.
How to prevent dental biofilm from forming?
The main ally to prevent the formation of dental biofilm is daily oral hygiene. But brushing your teeth once or twice a day is not enough: a good brushing technique is important, together with the use of dental floss to remove accumulated residues in areas that are difficult to access for the brush.
In addition to basic hygiene, food plays a very important role in the formation of biofilm and tartar.
Recommendations to reduce the formation of dental biofilm are:
- Reduce or avoid starchy foods. Remember that sugars turn into acids in your mouth, and this is the main food for cavity causing bacteria.
- Drink plenty of plain water. Water is basic in your daily diet, and your teeth also benefit from its consumption because it is an easy method of neutralizing acids and cleaning your mouth before and after brushing. In addition, water favors the formation of saliva, which is the natural cleanser of your mouth.
- Include probiotics in the diet. Probiotics not only promote gastrointestinal health, but also oral health. The consumption of Greek yogurt, kefir and supplements will help you improve the balance of the dental microbiome to neutralize the accumulation of bacteria that cause biofilm.
Treatment for dental biofilm
If you notice any of the dental biofilm symptoms mentioned above, it is important that you see your dentist for a thorough check up and cleaning. Bacterial plaque in its early stages can be easily removed with a toothbrush. But, when it hardens, not even dental floss can remove the biofilm.
Mechanical methods are needed to remove the biofilm and tartar accumulated on the dental surface, and your dentist will probably recommend a mouthwash as well as the proper technique to maintain clean and healthy teeth.
Schedule your appointment at The Dental District
Now that you know what dental biofilm is and one more reason to visit the dentist regularly, don’t wait any longer and schedule your appointment at The Dental District. Do not wait until discomfort appears that causes difficulties in your mouth, come visit us and maintain a beautiful, healthy and, above all, complete smile. Quote dentures in Mexico with us.
Contact us through our form, we will gladly assist you.