There are good and bad bacteria living us, we call those present in our mouth ‘plaque’ yes, it’s that unappealing creamy brown stuff that somehow builds up on your teeth despite the promises on your toothpaste tube — but to bacteria it’s home, and not just any old home.
Scientists have been discovering recently that single-cell bacteria, once considered one of the lowliest forms of life, can build cities that have a level of sophistication that some humans would envy.
The American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 65% of human bacterial infection involves biofilms. Not only are they responsible for tooth decay and gum disease, but they also cause many problems linked to cystic fibrosis and infections of the ear, prostate gland and the heart.
Bacteria are building evil-smelling cities in and between your teeth — what we nicely call “plaque”.
Plaque is anchored to your teeth by a base of dense opaque slime about 5 micrometers thick. Above this, colonies of different strains of bacteria, shaped like mushrooms or cones, soar to between 100 to 200 micrometers. Each miniature metropolis is permeated at all levels by channels for transporting water, waste, food and oxygen. Mmm . . . tasty!
So, don’t let the bad bacteria move in