Bacteria collect on the teeth and along the edge of the gums in a cream-colored mass called plaque (Figure 2). The bacterial deposits that form plaque on teeth differ considerably from that on soft tissues because teeth are a non-shedding surface, allowing more time for the development of a “structure” consisting of multiple layers of bacteria. This plaque “structure” also serves as a biofilm, typically defined as an aggregate of microorganisms in which cells adhere to each other and/or to a solid substrate exposed to an aqueous surface. The bulk of the volume (~90%) of dental plaque biofilm is comprised of a gel-like matrix of extracellular polysaccharides produced by oral bacteria. These polysaccharides are what holds the biofilm together and triggers changes that make it increasingly difficult to remove over time: When a cell becomes a component of biofilm, one of the many changes it experiences is a shift in gene expression that makes it up to 1,000 times more resistant to antibodies, antibiotics, and antimicrobial compounds than its planktonic (single cell) counterparts.9-11
Figure 2. Dental Plaque Deposits.
Your session is about to expire. Do you want to continue logged in?
WARNING! You did not finish creating your certificate. Please click CONTINUE below to return to your previous page to complete the process. Failure to complete ALL the steps will result in a loss of this test score, and you will not receive credit for this course.