Posts for: July, 2017
Biofilm, the protective housing for bacteria, is a hot topic in the medical and dental fields. Routinely taking an antibiotic for a bacterial infection has become more complicated because of biofilm. Bacterial infections may become resistant to antibiotics in part because the biofilm allows for communication among the bacteria, allowing the infection to be sustained.
So what does biofilm have to do with teeth? The dental profession now understands that there is a biofilm in your mouth; healthy biofilm and diseased biofilm. Both are made of the same general compounds, but when combined with certain amino acids and cellular chemicals, the diseased biofilm conquers and destroys.
Peridontal disease, otherwise know as gum disease, is a biofilm disease. If a patient has periodontal disease and does NOT complete the full recommended treatment for this low grade gum infection, then the disease will progress and can spread due to the biofilm.
After the dental exam is completed, the hygienist will usually uses an Ultrasonic Cleaner or a Piezo Scaler. These important dental tools use a method of spraying water that disturbs the biofilm and provides an opportunity to treat the infection causing bacteria.
Remember we all need healthy biofilm. Just as the skin protects your body, the biofilm houses good bacteria for protection as well. The bacteria in biofilm replicate every twenty minutes. If your body has healthy bacteria, low levels of hydrogen peroxide are produced by the biofilm, preventing harmful bacteria from residing. The harmful bacteria do not like an oxygen rich environment.
At your exam, dental supporting bone level measurements around your teeth are made. These measurments are known as "pocket depths." The higher the number, the deeper the pocket measurement, which gives more room for the harmful bacteria to reside since there is less of an oxygenated environment as the pocket depth increases. In medicine, we are encouraged to know our "numbers" like blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. Likewise, in dentistry, since the depth of our periodontal pockets usually indicates the level of gum disease that is present in our mouths, we should all know our periodontal pocket numbers!
Dental floss is similar to a lot of products that depend mainly on the comsumer's preference. Fact is, floss comes in a wide variety of flavors, coatings, and other variations, but all types of floss essentially do the same thing. After all, that is what is most important: that the dental floss you buy is functional - cleaning the areas between your teeth and below the gum line. If you want to know what the best dental floss is, the answer is the kind that enables you to successfully and regularly clean those areas. So to help you find the right type of floss for you, here are some options.
FLAVORED DENTAL FLOSS
Many people that floss prefer a flavored dental floss because it freshens their breath even more that unscented floss. The latter can also take on the smells associated with the bacteria in your mouth. And we all know how bad that can be. So, if flavored dental floss is what you prefer, and it allows you to floss your teeth regularly, then it is automatically best for your mouth.
There are also products on the market called flossers, which usually consist of a plastic instrument with strung floss and a pick on the oppositie end. This option can be both effective at cleaning the areas in between your teeth and scraping off plaque. These flossers also come flavored in mint and various other varieties. Although these flossers make flossing easier to use, technique remains the key.
GENTLE DENTAL FLOSS
Some people find that typical dental floss is too harsh on their gums. For that reason, some companies make floss with soft coatings that are less abrasive on the gums. For the most part, these types of floss are just as effective as regular floss, and for those people that require a more sensitive approach to flossing, especially when just starting out, this is the best option.
Of all of the flossing options, it is difficult to name an absolute best type of floss. However, remember that the best choice of floss is the one that gives you the best chance of allowing you to maintain a consistent habit of regular and daily flossing.