There are a lot of conflicting opinions about what is good or bad for your teeth through the media. How important is flossing? Does a mechanical toothbrush make a difference? Should I take oral probiotics? We want to make it as clear as possible what is good and bad for your teeth.
What does the latest research say about dental devices?
A recent study done at the University of Buffalo seeks to clear up conflicting medical information and provide clarity as to what oral hygiene tools are beneficial.
The result of this paper was that only a handful of dental devices actually help reduce the impact of gum disease aside from using a basic toothbrush. These dental devices include using an interdental brush, water pick, chlorhexidine gluconate (CHX), cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC), and essential oil mouth-washes like Listerine.
According to Frank Scannapieco who is the Distinguished Professor of Oral Biology at the University’s School of Dental Medicine “all other oral hygiene interventions are not supported by sufficient evidence.”
It is very important to add these particular dental solutions to your oral hygiene routine because gum disease is affecting almost half of adults over 30 years old according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
To learn about the types of viral infections that gingivitis may make you susceptible to, check out our blog on health issues caused by oral bacteria.
What dental tools are good and bad for preventing gum disease?
Tooth brushing is the most valuable part of your daily oral health routine and is extremely important to reduce the amount of plaque that leads to cavities and gum recession. In the study interdental brushes and water picks performed the best at reducing your chance of obtaining gingivitis. Mouth rinses that contained essential oils like CHX or CPC were the most effective at reducing dental plaque from forming.
You should avoid using Triclosan tubes of toothpaste or mouth rinses as although they are effective at fighting plaque they consist of a compound that has been linked to various types of cancer and could cause reproduction defects.
As it turns out you can detect gum disease by poking your gums with a toothpick and monitoring your gums for signs of bleeding.
What are some unproven dental tools for reducing gum disease?
There is a lack of information to support the impact that dental floss, probiotics, dietary supplements, and many types of mouthwash will have on reducing your risk of gum disease. Although flossing and the use of a mechanical toothbrush were not found to be as effective as interdental cleaning devices they still have their benefits.
Floss can be effective in removing interdental plaque especially for people with tight spaces in-between their teeth and prevents cavities from forming between teeth. So it is not recommended that you stop flossing.
The researchers did not find enough data to support those other mouthwashes would reduce your chances of gingivitis, though this study recommends Listerine as the best mouth rinse for preventing gum disease.
The investigators found insufficient evidence that mouthwashes based on tea tree oil, green tea, anti-inflammatory agents, hydrogen peroxide, sodium benzoate, stannous fluoride, hexetidine, or delmopinol reduced gingivitis.
Finally, the use of probiotics showed promising results when preventing gum disease but there was also insufficient research to support their effectiveness. Very little evidence was found to support that dietary supplements would improve the health of your gums through certain probiotics that do have certain benefits.
If you’d like to ask for recommendations for any of these unproven dental tools you can contact our dental clinic in London Ontario by clicking below.