What Is Biofilm?

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Biofilm con­sists of bac­te­ria, which cling to­gether and make up a coat­ing, for ex­am­ple on the sur­face of a tooth. The coat­ing con­sists of bac­te­ria cells and a layer of mu­cous, which has been se­creted by the cells and glues them to­gether.

Biofilm is a ma­jor prob­lem. On a small scale, they cause cav­i­ties in teeth and gums, and as biofilm is far more re­sis­tant to an­tibi­otics and other chem­i­cal sub­stances that free-liv­ing bac­te­ria, biofilm poses a risk in the food in­dus­try, for ex­am­ple. In hos­pi­tals, biofilm may be life threat­en­ing and slow down the re­cov­ery from a large num­ber of ill­nesses and the heal­ing of wounds. Biofilm, how­ever, is also used con­struc­tively in pu­rifi­ca­tion plants, where bac­te­ria biofilm break down sub­stances that are dif­fi­cult to han­dle.

BIOFILM If you for­get to brush your teeth for a cou­ple of days, a sticky mass of bac­te­ria and slime will form on your teeth.

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