What is plaque (sometimes called biofilm) and why do you want to get rid of it?


Biofilm are multispecies of bacteria with a protective layer.

Wherever a surface comes into contact with water, there is biofilm - a thin, slimy layer of microorganisms composed of up to 700 strains of bacteria, yeasts, and fungi. Naturally, bacteria want to attach to a surface, form a community, and continue to increase. Once the community has reached a specific size, it creates a matrix of extracellular polysaccharide substances (EPS), establishing a protective layer that acts as a barrier against external threats.

In contact with water, microbiome organisms only take 8 - 10 hours to form a biofilm on all surfaces, including medical devices, water systems, and the human body. While biofilms are a natural part of the environment, they can cause serious health problems when they form on or inside the body. Thus, it is known that biofilms are everywhere if there is moisture.


Why are biofilm and plaque harmful?

They are the root cause of 80% of all infections, and antibiotics can’t kill them.

Singular bacteria might not be dangerous because antibiotics or common disinfectants can easily kill them. However, once bacteria have formed a community and built their impenetrable EPS matrix, they become resistant to antibiotics.

Furthermore, the bacteria inside the shielded community share nutrients and defense genes, which increases antibiotic resistivity, withstanding even excessive antibiotic treatments of 500 – 5000 times the regular doses. Undisturbed, they also produce harmful proteins, enzymes, and virulence factors to bypass the body’s defense system.

Biofilms can form on a wide range of surfaces in the body and cause major chronic infections. For example, biofilms have been linked to chronic sinus infections and cystic fibrosis.

When they form on medical devices such as catheters, artificial joints, or pacemakers, they can cause severe infections which typically require to do revisional surgery.


How does plaque and biofilm impact oral health?

According to the WHO, more than 3.5 billion people suffer from oral diseases.

Biofilms in the oral cavity are harmful for several reasons. They can form on any surface, including teeth, gums, and dental restorations such as fillings, bridges, and dentures. They significantly contribute to gum inflammation, tooth decay, and periodontal diseases. Also, biofilm bacteria produce acid as a by-product of their metabolism, which can demineralize the tooth enamel and cause cavities.

Biofilm like dental plaque and tartar (solidified dental plaque) are the root causes of oral diseases since they hide in the smallest crevices and tight spaces between teeth and gumline which no mechanical, electrical, ultrasound or sonic brushes can reach. Most people don’t know that mouthwash does not affect plaque since it can’t penetrate the protective EPS matrix.

Regular check-ups, good oral hygiene practices, and professional teeth cleaning are ways to keep dental plaque under control and prevent oral health issues. Great Gums technology tackles the root cause and not the symptom – removing plaque before it becomes harmful.

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