Do You Know the Cause of Dental Decay and Gum Disease? Frequently Asked Questions

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Oral biofilm is the cause of periodontal disease, tooth decay and systemic inflammation.

What are biofilms?

Biofilms consist of three parts—

  1. The bacteria,
  2. The “slime” they produce
  3. defense mechanism: Many species of bacterial cells flock together to form an intricate community. This helps protect them from your infection-fighting white blood cells and antibiotics.

Biofilms can form on just about any wet surface, both living and non-living—river rocks, wastewater treatment plants, hospitals and the inside of your faucet.  They seem to exist in other diseases like Lymes Disease.


What is oral biofilm?

The bacteria and invisible film adhere to teeth, gums and to each other.  They build up in between teeth and most critically, under the gums. This provides a home for the bacteria-causing dental decay (infected cavities) and periodontitis (gum and bone infection) with the ensuing inflammation. Over 80 percent of the population is facing complications from oral biofilms. Biofilm can begin to reform in about five hours.


How do I know if I have an infection caused by oral biofilms?

Only a dentist or dental hygienist can tell you.  Oral disease is usually silent.  They will need to measure gum pockets and detect decay.  An examination, and usually X-rays, are also needed.  This is the only way to know your dental health status and what home care to use.  However, professional treatments and self-care will improve all but the worst cases.


I have read that this biofilm can spread bacteria and inflammation to other body organs. Is that true?

Yes.  It is referred to as the oral-systemic connection and potentially contributes to systemic diseases like heart disease, stroke and complications from diabetes.  Many other diseases are being researched as well. With the proper treatment and care, there can be great results, including bringing back a healthy mouth and body.



By John Tortora D.D.S. and Heather Mistretta, Pressing Releases (