The 2 actors: the biofilm and the host

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Biofilm, also called bacterial plaque, forms a balance with its host (you). This balance between you and the bacteria is essential, but when this balance is broken, a bacterial population predominates and can then harm your oral health.

Your mouth, a real ecosystem!

Do not panic ! Bacteria (over 200 species) are always present in your mouth, even when you are healthy. These bacteria constitute a flora, which maintains stable relations with you, and has no consequences on your health. But beware, if this balance is broken, it can have an impact causing

The biofilm, a formation in 5 stages.

The bacteria in your mouth try to colonize all the niches that favor them, especially hard surfaces .(teeth, implants, prostheses, etc.). Most of these bacteria can survive and multiply through the formation of a biofilm on these surfaces.This biofilm is distinguished:

in supra-gingival biofilm which is deposited on the dental crown

. in subgingival biofilm which is located in the gingivo-dental space

It is formed in 5 successive stages: 

Stage 1: formation of a film of non-bacterial salivary origin

Step 2: attachment of bacteria, alone or in colonies, to the salivary film or enamel

Step 3: colonization of the tooth and adhesion of bacteria to each other

Step 4: multiplication of bacteria that form microcolonies

Step 5: formation of complexes by the microcolonies = biofilm

The biofilm forms within a few hours to a few days.

Warning: The biofilm forms a real protection for the bacteria which are present there and which can thus become more and more aggressive.

Your body, a real shield with a varied defense system.

Different mechanisms in your body prevent bacterial infection. 

You have, in fact, physical and chemical barriers (skin, mucous membrane, saliva, etc.) which, when they are not enough, are relayed by your immune system . This is the most important protection.

 We distinguish : 

the  ” innate ” immune system , naturally present.

the  ” acquired ” immune system    that develops over the course of the diseases encountered.

Your defenses can be weakened by certain factors specific to you such as tobacco, diabetes, unsuitable tooth brushing…

Biofilm-host, a balanced relationship.

There is a  balance between biofilm accumulation and reduction . Without certain host-specific actions that reduce biofilm, it would continually accumulate.

These actions that reduce biofilm are:

self-cleaning by cheeks and tongue, 


brushing teeth. 

The disrupted biofilm-host balance:
a periodontal disease

An imbalance between the biofilm and your defense mechanisms can occur through:

An  increase in a bacterial species  within the ecosystem of your mouth, which makes it more aggressive.

 decrease in the effectiveness of your physical and chemical barriers and your immune system , this due to “ risk factors ” that can weaken your defenses. 

The host, whose defenses are weakened, then encounters more difficulty in fighting the biofilm and offers a weakened ground from which one or more bacterial species benefit. 

This imbalance created by one and/or the other determines the appearance and progression of periodontal disease .

How does tartar form?

The tartar on your teeth comes from the calcification of the existing biofilm (calcium deposit). It is a white or brown substance that is located on your teeth or any other solid surface present in your mouth. 

As for the biofilm, we distinguish a supra-gingival tartar (on the crown ) and a sub-gingival tartar (in the gingivo-dental space ).

The amount of tartar formed depends on individual factors such as the composition of saliva, oral hygiene, etc. It therefore varies from one individual to another.

Once formed, scale can only increase, especially in hard-to-clean areas. It is impossible for you to eliminate it and requires the intervention of your dental surgeon.

Tartar protects and promotes the development of biofilm and thus the appearance of periodontal disease.