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Biofilms in the Dental Industry

biofilms in dental industry
Apr  3, 2024
4 minutes

Oral biofilms, commonly known as dental plaque, serve as the primary etiological factor in the development and progression of two prevalent oral conditions: dental caries (cavities) and periodontal diseases (gum diseases). Dental caries is recognised as one of the most prevalent chronic ailments worldwide, impacting billions and imposing significant economic burdens on healthcare systems and individuals alike. Similarly, periodontal diseases, encompassing gingivitis and periodontitis, affect a substantial portion of the global population and have been linked to systemic conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and respiratory conditions.

Unlike planktonic bacteria, which exist as freely floating entities, biofilms comprise structured communities of microorganisms that adhere to oral surfaces, including teeth, gums, and dental appliances, forming a complex matrix known as dental plaque. Biofilms provide protection for their bacterial inhabitants and create a physical barrier that impedes the penetration of treatments. Moreover, they ensure nutrient availability and facilitate bacterial communication through signaling molecules. Collectively, these factors render biofilms more tolerant to treatment and more challenging to eradicate compared to their planktonic counterparts.

Effective control of oral biofilms is essential for maintaining oral health and preventing associated systemic complications. Developing successful biofilm control strategies necessitates a thorough understanding of biofilm structure, formation, behaviour, and antimicrobial susceptibility. From a preventive standpoint, early recognition of biofilm formation and colonisation on tooth surfaces offers insights into preventive measures aimed at inhibiting biofilm growth and adherence. Additionally, it enables targeted approaches to identify and address specific microbial species and virulence factors associated with disease initiation and progression. Since antimicrobial agents tend to be less effective against biofilm-embedded bacteria, understanding the mechanisms of biofilm formation and stability is crucial for designing strategies to disrupt biofilm architecture and enhance bacterial susceptibility to antimicrobial treatments.

BluTest Laboratories — A Tentamus Company specialises in supporting biofilm research, providing expertise in biofilm structure, model development, and antimicrobial testing. Leveraging our deep knowledge and experience in this field, we offer valuable assistance in addressing biofilm-related challenges. We support research into various single-species and multispecies models of biofilms, encompassing oral, respiratory, and wound biofilm models, employing standard and molecular testing techniques in conjunction with scanning and confocal laser scanning microscopy.

Feel free to reach out to us for more information at

The article is written by our expert Dr Om Alkhir Alshanta

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