Toothbrushes Tested Against Gingival Recession

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at


Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at

Consumers have plenty of choices when it comes to oral care, including manual and power toothbrushes. A team of researchers recently compared the long-term effects of brushing with oscillating-rotating power toothbrushes and ADA reference manual toothbrushes on pre-existing gingival recession.

The researchers assembled healthy subjects with pre-existing recession in a controlled, prospective, single-blind, parallel group study. After randomization, 55 of them brushed with a power toothbrush and 54 brushed with a manual toothbrush over the next 3 years. Using a standard fluoride toothpaste, each brushed for 2 minutes twice a day.

Meanwhile, the same calibrated examiner assessed the subjects for clinical attachment loss and probing pocket depths to the nearest millimeter at 6 sites per tooth. Also, the researchers calculated gingival recession at pre-existing sites as the difference between clinical attachment loss and probing pocket depths. Hard and soft oral tissues were examined to assess safety as well.

Mean gingival recession did not differ significantly between groups after 35 +/-2 months, but it was significantly reduced from baseline from 2.35 +/- 0.35 mm to 1.90 +/-0.58 mm among the subjects using the power brushes and from 2.26 +/-0.31 mm to 1.81 +/-0.66 mm among the manual brush users.

The study, “3-Year Randomised Study of Manual and Power Toothbrush Effects on Pre-existing Gingival Recession,” was written by Christof E. Dörfer and Hans-Jörg Staehle of Christian-Albrechts-University at Kiel in Germany and Diana Wolff of the University of Heidelberg in Germany. It was published by the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.

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