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Re-examining the Plaque-Gingivitis Connection and the Role of Stannous Fluoride

Course Number: 579

Adjunctive Oral Chemotherapeutics Leverage a Basic Truth

Realistically, very few individuals will attain the meticulous level of oral hygiene required to keep all gingival disease at bay.72-75 Fortunately, however, nearly all patients own a toothbrush and toothpaste, so making a switch in dentifrice from a standard paste to a clinically-proven antimicrobial dentifrice is an easily adoptable, straightforward proposition with the potential for significant improvements in oral health.

Clinicians have an invaluable opportunity to enlighten their patients on the benefits of using antimicrobials. The International Federation of Dental Hygienists (IFDH) reported on a survey of almost 500 hygienist respondents in 20 countries about toothpaste recommendations.76 Surprisingly, although 80% said that choosing the correct dentifrice was as important as selecting the right toothbrush and was important for good oral health, 40% of respondents weren’t recommending a specific fluoride dentifrice to patients, with 58% stating that all fluoride toothpastes are similar. Most agreed that evidence-based knowledge is vital for making product recommendations, but the majority reported limited use of peer-reviewed journals, suggesting there may be a lack of knowledge in the proven gingival (and other oral) health benefits of stabilized stannous fluoride dentifrices relative to dentifrices containing sodium fluoride.76