April 2014 Archives

What is biofilm?

Oral bacteria causing infections in gum tissue may threaten more than your teeth and gums. Research has established associations between oral bacteria and systemic diseases including:
Type 2 Diabetes
Heart Disease
Respiratory Disease
Blood Clots
Preterm and Low Birth Weight Babies
Chronic Inflammation

Image of biofilm from a periodontal pocket.
The theories linking oral bacteria to other diseases explain that the mouth may be a portal for bacteria to spread to the rest of your body.

If you have been diagnosed with gum disease for example, pathogenic bacteria are likely forming colonies that cause localized inflammation and damage in your gum tissue. Those bacteria may enter the blood stream through small ulcers in your gum tissue.

© MSU Center for Biofilm Engineering, used with permission.

The growth of bacteria in periodontal pockets occurs in three stages. After the first stage of attachment, the bacteria form a colony with a filmy or slimy protective covering. The most advanced stage of bacterial growth involves clumps of bacteria detaching from the colony to form new infections.

© MSU Center for Biofilm Engineering, used with permission.

The bacterial infection, like the colony growing on the tooth surface in this illustration, spreads when small clumps of bacteria detach in a "seeding" effect to form new infections. Left unchecked, bacteria growing in the protective colonies in periodontal pockets can lead to the destruction of teeth and eventually the bone supporting the teeth. Because the bacteria may spread through your body to threaten more than your teeth and gums, it is important to talk to your doctor about your risk factors and treat any infected areas of your mouth.

To learn more about oral bacteria and PerioProtect click here.

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