You may be tempted to think that this blog is exclusively about dental biofilms. It is not. Dental disease is an area of research that I revisit to fact-check to support the film production. Dental biofilms are a small part of the future film — though the subject warrants much more examination.
Today, I was recalling when biofilms were discovered. I almost forgot that bacterial biofilms were originally discovered and documented three-hundred and twenty-eight years ago by Antony van Leeuwenhoek. Here’s an excerpt from this Berkeley site:
On September 17, 1683, Leeuwenhoek wrote to the Royal Society about his observations on the plaque between his own teeth, “a little white matter, which is as thick as if ’twere batter.’ …I then most always saw, with great wonder, that in the said matter there were many very little living animalcules, very prettily a-moving. The biggest sort. . . had a very strong and swift motion, and shot through the water (or spittle) like a pike does through the water. The second sort. . . oft-times spun round like a top. . . and these were far more in number.”
In the mouth of one of the old men, Leeuwenhoek found “an unbelievably great company of living animalcules, a-swimming more nimbly than any I had ever seen up to this time. The biggest sort. . . bent their body into curves in going forwards. . . Moreover, the other animalcules were in such enormous numbers, that all the water. . . seemed to be alive.”
Do you readers find it astounding that both bacteria and bacterial biofilms were discovered in 1683? It wasn’t until the late 1970s that scientists really started to understand how biofilms represented a new paradigm in chronic bacterial diseases. Has our medical establishment made any progress in diagnosing and treating chronic bacterial biofilm diseases? That’s what this future film is all about…and then some.
In the meantime, we’ve learned and shared much about biofilms. Would you like a comprehensive definition on what a biofilm is…without reading a boring definition? All you have to do is watch this slick video of experts describing biofilms.
Let us know what you think. We would love to hear your comments. And do try to skim the articles in our Oral Health Connection forum on our sister site.