What is Biofilm?

Biofilm Basics: What They Are, How They Form, and Why They Matter

The mouth contains a complex microbial ecosystem or system of microbiomes, that can both help and harm teeth. Biofilm, which plaque is an example of, is any collection of microorganisms that cling to each other and a surface.  It’s impossible to completely remove bacteria or eliminate microbiomes from the mouth. However, as in any ecosystem, there is a balance that is necessary to maintain a healthy equilibrium. Good oral hygiene habits, healthy choices, and a balanced diet are our way of maintaining that equilibrium so that more dangerous and harmful bacteria are reduced and kept in check.

If you have any questions about your oral health, call our office in Morehead, NC today!

Oral Hygiene and Biofilm

Oral biofilms can line your mouth and teeth, functioning as a protective barrier. The good bacteria can help maintain a healthy balance in your oral microbiome and prevent the overgrowth of bad bacteria. If good hygiene habits aren’t maintained then plaque, and the microbiome it contains, can harden and grow. This can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and cavities. After oral surgeries in particular there is a risk of infection if good habits aren’t maintained. For this reason, twice daily brushing, regular flossing, and using mouthwash are critical.

Since teeth make up a relatively small part of the overall surface area inside the mouth using an anti-bacterial mouthwash is a great way of fighting back harmful oral bacteria. By regularly brushing you force the biofilm and bacteria in your mouth to regenerate and prevent it from growing out of control.

Diet and Bacteria

Too much sugary food, or improper hygiene after consuming sugary food, can feed bacteria. Sugar is a sort of fuel for certain harmful bacteria present in your mouth. This is why candy, soda, and other sugary foods and drinks are associated with causing cavities. Similarly, too many acidic foods can throw off the oral microbiome and fuel harmful bacteria.

Healthy Choices and the Oral Microbiome

Certain habits and behaviors like smoking or nicotine use can also throw off the oral microbiome. Nicotine usage can cause dry mouth which reduces saliva which naturally helps keep the mouth at equilibrium. Additionally, a thin film can form on teeth from smoking and vaping that can trap excess bacteria. Chewing tobacco similarly can fuel particular types of bacteria.

Regular dental checkups and examinations for more serious issues are also a crucial part of maintaining good overall oral health. At Sound Dental we are happy to help new clients learn about good oral hygiene. Request an appointment or call us today at 252-247-6704.

Sound Dental

306 Penny Lane
Morehead City, NC 28557
View Map

Hours

Monday - Thursday: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Friday: 8:30am - 2:00pm

Phone

252.247.6704

Email Address

[email protected]