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An adhesive substance, the glycocalyx, and the bacterial community which it envelops at the interface of a liquid and a surface. When a liquid is in contact with an inert surface, any bacteria within the liquid are attracted to the surface and adhere to it. In this process the bacteria produce the glycocalyx. The bacterial inhabitants within this microenvironment benefit as the biofilm concentrates nutrients from the liquid phase. However, these activities may damage the surface, impair its efficiency, or develop within the biofilm a pathogenic community that may damage the associated environment. Microbial fouling or biofouling are the terms applied to these actual or potentially undesirable consequences.

Microbial fouling affects a large variety of surfaces under various conditions. Microbial biofilms may form wherever bacteria can survive; familiar examples are dental plaque and tooth decay. Dental plaque is an accumulation of bacteria, mainly streptococci, from saliva. The process of tooth decay begins with the bacteria colonizing fissures in and contact points between the teeth. Dietary sucrose is utilized by the bacteria to form extracellular glucans that make up the glycocalyx and assist adhesion to the tooth. Within this microbial biofilm or plaque the metabolic by-products of the bacterial inhabitants are trapped; these include acids that destroy the tooth enamel, dentin, or cementum.

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Bioscience. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


A microbial (bacterial, fungal, algal) community, enveloped by the extracellular biopolymer which these microbial cells produce, that adheres to the interface of a liquid and a surface.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
[5.] Biradar B., Devi P., Quorum sensing in plaque biofilms: challenges and future prospects, J.
"Germs in the mouth multiply and can become embedded in a thick layer called plaque biofilm. When this happens, these biofilm germs become much more difficult to kill by simply brushing and flossing and are more likely to cause problems such as bad breath and more seriously, gingivitis," he explains.
Dental plaque samples are treated with 4 ml of Ozone water for 10 sec and was observed that gram +ve and gram -ve oral microorganisms and Candida albicans in pure culture as well as bacteria in plaque biofilm are killed, hence it was used to control oral microorganisms in dental plaque.
"The components of an effective program are the same for all persons regardless of disability, but their delivery and application must be altered to meet the needs of those who are disabled" (1) An ideal prevention program, which may involve a parent or caregiver, should include education, plaque biofilm control, chemical agents such as antimicrobials and home fluorides and diet counseling.
Dental as plaque biofilm and a microbial community: implications for health and disease.