Biofilm & Oral Wellness in Yorktown Heights - Dr. David Lerner

Focusing On Your Whole Body Health

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Biofilm is quite literally a “film” or layer of biological matter that forms on teeth, in sink pipes, on river rocks, and more. Biofilm is made of many different things. Think of it as concrete, which contains cement as well as a slew of other materials. It’s likely you’ve been aware of biofilm on your teeth when they feel slimy or fuzzy instead of smooth and clean. Yorktown Heights dentist Dr. David Lerner explains more below about biofilm and the role it plays in your oral wellness.

My Teeth Aren’t Cold, Why Do They Need Sweaters?

It’s true; the texture of biofilm can feel like fuzzy little sweaters on your teeth. Biofilm occurs when bacteria stick to a wet environment, creating a slimy layer of microorganisms and random debris. Biofilm is a diverse and highly organized group of biological matter all webbed together. Some of the microorganisms are neutral but some are pathogenic and cause a lot of problems for your oral and overall health.

This slimy layer includes multiple kinds of bacteria, fungi, and anything else that gets stuck in the stickiness, such as plaque or leftover food particles. Usually, bacteria start off floating around on their own, but if they stick to a wet surface they can cause a microcolony and produce a lot of gunk. This can happen on your teeth as easily as down a water pipe.

The Effects of Biofilm

It’s proven that not all microorganisms in biofilm cause harm to your oral health. But the ones that do can cause inflammation and deterioration in the bones and tissues of your mouth and have a direct pathway through the gums and into the bloodstream. Biofilm in your mouth can cause:

  • Tooth decay
  • Gingivitis
  • Bleeding gums
  • Gum disease
  • Cavities
  • Inflammation
  • Tooth loss

Dental plaque is a dangerous kind of biofilm. Without properly cleaning your teeth (brushing and flossing every day), the material can corrode your teeth and the bacteria can make you sick. Gingivitis is a common and mild irritation of the gums. But even 30-40% of the population will have severe gum disease called periodontitis. A dentist can help you look for signs of gum disease or diagnose it. Biofilm allowed to travel through the bloodstream to other parts of your body cause:

  • Ear infections
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Cystic fibrosis (lung infection)
  • Legionnaire’s Disease

Treating Biofilm & Tooth Decay

The formation of biofilm actually protects the bacteria in it by keeping it attached to teeth and other debris. This makes the bacteria hard to clear and kill. Regular brushing and flossing are essential for your oral health to prevent bacteria and other microorganisms from building up on your teeth. However, some buildup of plaque and tartar is common and can only be treated by a dental professional. This is why getting your teeth cleaned at the dentist twice a year is so important. Biofilm can also grow on oral appliances. So, if you use dentures, a mouthguard, or a removable bridge, ask your dentist how to best keep the appliance clean.

If biofilm causes excessive tartar buildup, your dentist may recommend special treatment to remove it and kill the bacteria such as prescription mouthwash or more advanced periodontal treatments. Unfortunately, oral infections are chronic because the bacteria can’t be completely killed by antibiotics. Oral infections must be inspected and treated on an ongoing basis. As always—prevention is the best medicine.

If you’re looking for a dental professional to keep your mouth and overall health in tiptop shape, Yorktown Heights dentist The Center for Holistic Dentistry is accepting new patients. Contact us to make an appointment today!


Sources

https://www.colgateprofessional.com/patient-education/articles/what-is-biofilm

http://jdh.adha.org/content/81/suppl_1/116.full.pdf

 

Your Top-Rated & New Favorite Dentist In Yorktown Heights, NY

"I can’t thank Dr. Lerner and his staff enough, notably his assistant Nicole for expertly handling my mercury filling removals.I had it done in 2 phases and they took very good care of me on both occasions. The whole office is very pleasant, so professional and I look forward to my visits. On this most recent cleaning appointment, Linda did my cleaning. She was gentle and thorough. Highly recommend."

- Vanessa R.

"Excellent experience during my initial consultation. The most complete examination I have ever had by a dentist, including full body muscle testing. This testing uncovered major alignment issues with my jaw which has been causing a lifetime of misalignment throughout the rest of my body. Dr. Lerner and his staff are outside the box thinkers and I am very happy I have found them."

- Greg R.

"Very professional and compassionate. Love the use of Nucalm, eye mask, calming music, and making removing my mercury fillings a pleasant experience. Well as pleasant as can be. Thank you!!!"

- Jodi B.

"Been seeing Dr Lerner since I was about 11 years old, I’m now 31! I continue to see Jane for cleanings and just did the zoom whitening treatment with them in preparation of my wedding- highly recommend!"

- Chloe L.

*The reviews listed are from actual patients of The Center For Holistic Dentistry. Individual results may vary. Reviews are not claimed to represent results for everyone.

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What To Expect On Your First Visit

Our mission is to encourage full-body wellness through oral health while allowing you to feel heard and understand all your options. During your new patient exam, Dr. Lerner will spend time reviewing your health history, concerns, and goals. Your comprehensive exam will address items you may not have considered such as airway screening and dental materials sensitivity testing. We look forward to meeting you!

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Comprehensive Review Of Your Health History & Concerns

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Evaluation Of Teeth, Bite, Gums & Airway Passage

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Low Radiation Digital X-Rays

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Discover Your Options & Receive A Custom Treatment Plan