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Dental biofilm – a case of life or death?

Deborah Lyle explains how biofilm is a perfect haven for pathogens to thrive, resulting in serious health complications.

It’s estimated that half of the world’s adult population have some degree of gingivitis. In the UK, 10-15% of adults have severe periodontitis (NHS Choice, 2014) and about 31% of adults and a third of children 12 years of age and under suffer from tooth decay (NHS Choices, 2012). The latest report from the Department of Health found the levels of gingivitis and tooth decay amongst children in the UK are as bad as they were in 1983. These common oral health problems can in fact all be traced back to one culprit – dental biofilm.

It’s only recently that plaque has been recognised as a biofilm. This recognition has given the dental community a better understanding of how dental biofilm forms and develops and how it can affect the rest of the body.

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