What's This Sticky Film On My Gums When I Wake Up?

On almost any surface, a thin layer of bacteria known as biofilm can stick. That’s why your gums and teeth feel like they’ve been covered in slime when you wake up in the morning. Biofilm is normal and happens to everyone—even if you brush, floss and rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash. But when you don’t remove the biofilm on a daily basis, it can build and develop into dental plaque.

Dental plaque which could lead to gum problems is made up of some bad bacteria (the kind that thrives on sugar left behind on gums and teeth and turns into tooth-decaying acid) and some good bacteria (the kind that makes normal biofilm less enticing to acid-hungry bacteria).

A person with super-solid home oral hygiene, who brushes, flosses, and swishes daily, can control and minimize the size of the biofilm, and potentially make it even healthier by increasing the amount of good bacteria it contains. But when you clean and rinse your gums and teeth less frequently, biofilm (typically pale yellow in color) can harden into tartar and gets thicker which only dentists and their professional tools can remove. Stick to your rinsing routine to keep your biofilm in its healthier condition.