Biofilms are microbial communities that are common both in your body and the environment. Dental plaque is one form of biofilm, which produces acids as it feeds on carbohydrates and sugars from the food and drinks you consume. Although it's responsible for helping to break down these substances, it can cause all sorts of harm in the process. This is worsened by heavy consumption of starches and sugar.
How Does Biofilm Work?
Due to its structure, biofilm enhances its bacteria population's resistance to antimicrobials and your defense system. It is a group of single-celled organisms that create a collective power much greater than an organism alone. As it undergoes maturation, it can lead to tooth decay, cavities and gum disease. In addition, it has been linked to the development of various diseases, such as heart disease, respiratory disorders, diabetes and adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Fighting Back Against Biofilm
One effective way to fight the growth of biofilm is with probiotics, which target infection-promoting microbes, known as pathogens, and hinder them from binding to your body's tissues. Probiotic sources include yogurt, buttermilk and cultured cottage cheese. Non-dairy sources include fermented foods and drinks like sauerkraut and Kombucha.
However, the power of good oral care habits for removing biofilm cannot be stressed enough. Brushing twice a day for 2 minutes at a time, along with daily flossing will go a long way in protecting your teeth from decay. Mouthwashes alone do nothing against plaque since it's such a sticky substance. And of course, routine cleanings in our office will do a world of good for your oral health.
Although you can never completely rid your body and mouth of biofilm populations, there are plenty of ways to slow their growth. For more recommendations for keeping your mouth as clean and bacteria-free as possible, contact our office to schedule a visit.