Self-performed mechanical plaque control (SPC) via toothbrushing and interproximal cleaning is key to preventing gingivitis and periodontitis, according to the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP).
However, there has been a lack of evidence about how often SPC sessions should be performed to maintain gingival health in patients with a history of periodontitis who participate in professional periodontal-maintenance programs.
In this context, researchers at the University of Santa Maria in Brazil carried out a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effect of SPC frequency on the maintenance of gingival health in subjects with a history of periodontitis.
The researchers found that intervals of 12 or 24 hours, combined with consistent periodontal maintenance visits, showed stable levels of gingival health in patients who are susceptible to periodontitis.
When SPC was performed at 48-hour intervals, the patients exhibited twice as many sites with gingival inflammation and bleeding. This increased inflammation correlated to higher plaque levels compared to those subjects who brushed their teeth at 12- and 24-hour intervals.
The study, “Tooth-Brushing: How Frequent Should It Be for the Periodontal Patient?” was published by JCP Digest.