Although everyone knows that the mouth is full of bacteria, this invisible community of germs lives in a protective home called biofilm. This biofilm can be be found in wet places such as ponds, sewers, bathroom drains, as well as growing on metals and minerals. The type of biofilm that is found in the mouth can be either healthy or diseased! Both are composed of the same compounds, but when they combine with certain amino acids or chemicals, diseased biofilm will begin to destroy the enamel. You might notice this as a slimy yellow buildup of dental plaque on the surface of the teeth.
Biofilm takes form when free-swimming bacterial cells land on a surface and attach in a cluster. The cells begin to multiply and form a micro-colony that promotes diverse bacterial species to grow. To prevent diseased biofilm from settling in the mouth to begin with, make sure that part of your daily hygiene routine includes two minute twice daily brushing and flossing. Regular and consistent dental cleanings are also a very important part of keeping the bad bugs at bay. Although there are harmful bacteria that damage healthy tooth structures, it is essential to keep a healthy amount of biofilm in the mouth. This healthy biofilm protects the body from disease and is replicated every twenty minutes. Maintaining the proper amount of healthy biofilm also decreases the chance of the mouth producing too many harmful bacteria!