Many patients are not familiar with the concept of dental biofilm, although it affects our teeth and gums on a daily basis. Do you know what exactly the oral biofilm is? What effects does it have on my smile?
The dental biofilm, better known as bacterial plaque, is a yellowish substance that forms in the oral cavity. The origin of the biofilm is in the bacteria that adhere to the teeth and gums. Every day we expose our smile to the accumulation of dental biofilm: when eating, drinking, kissing, biting objects, taking medication … The accumulation of oral biofilm is related to several complications:
- Tooth decay. The biofilm attacks the enamel and demineralizes it, favoring the development of the cavity that causes dental caries. In its most advanced stages, decay can destroy the inside of the affected tooth. Dental plaque can inflame the gums, although there are other factors that contribute to its development.
- Periodontal diseases. It is periodontitis or pyorrhea, which consists of a gingivitis in a very advanced state and affects the bone and tissues that support the tooth. In some cases it can cause the loss of the tooth. If we do not eliminate the biofilm, with the passage of time it hardens and generates tartar. Tartar is a sticky film that adheres to the tooth surface and has an unattractive yellowish appearance. Tartar can only be removed in the clinic, by means of a professional dental cleaning.
Tips to control the dental biofilm
- Daily brushing. The first step to control the biofilm is to maintain a good daily oral hygiene routine. That is, brush your teeth using a toothpaste with antibacterial ingredients.
- Interproximal cleaning. The brush cannot reach effectively difficult corners of the oral cavity. The spaces between teeth, the line of the gums … These spaces tend to accumulate large amounts of oral biofilm. Using mouthwash with fluoride is key to eliminating biofilm from these more difficult spaces. In case of orthodontics, the use of interproximal hygiene techniques such as oral irrigation is recommended.
- Use of plate developers. They dye a striking color each area where there is presence of dental biofilm.
On the other hand, do not forget to visit your trusted dentist regularly. In a routine visit, the first symptoms of diseases caused by the accumulation of oral biofilm can be detected. With good care at home and regular visits to the dentist you can show a healthier smile and free of dental biofilm.