The dental biofilm, a silent enemy

You may not be familiar with this word, but you are in contact with it every day. The WHO defines the “biofilm” as a proliferating and enzymatically active bacterial ecosystem. That is, it is a set of microorganisms that can adhere to several natural or artificial surfaces and create colonies there.

Although in many cases the concentration of bacteria is beneficial for the environment, in others it can be quite harmful, as is the case with the oral biofilm.

What is it dental biofilm?

The oral bacteria can be organized in two ways: in the saliva, suspended in the liquid phase, or on a hard surface, forming an adherent film, which is known as dental biofilm. Also called bacterial plaque, is a set of microorganisms that is attached to the walls of the teeth. If that plaque is not eliminated through oral hygiene, that is, if the microorganisms get the substrates necessary to survive and persist for a long time on the tooth surface, it can produce different types of diseases in the mouth.

What damage can it cause?

When the plaque adheres to the surface of the teeth, it can affect the internal support structures of the teeth and thus leave “the door open” for the entry of other bacteria and microorganisms. The dental biofilm is one of the main causes of some of the most common oral diseases, such as caries – which affects 60 to 90% of the world population – gum disease, gingivitis, among others.

What to do to prevent it?

Prevention is one of the most effective ways to avoid various discomforts that usually arise in the mouth throughout life. In addition to good oral hygiene habits at home, it is essential to make frequent visits to the dentist to perform a professional cleaning. That’s because, once the plate is attached to the tooth, only brushing is not enough to eliminate it. The biofilm is quite rigid and difficult to extract, so special equipment is necessary to remove it.

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