The impact of toothbrushing frequency on periodontitis

Is frequency of tooth brushing a risk factor for periodontitis? A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Dental professionals
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The aim of this systematic review was to clarify the impact of toothbrushing frequency on periodontitis. After selection a total of fourteen studies were included in the final meta-analysis. These studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria of presenting an association of periodontitis or alveolar bone loss with oral hygiene, where toothbrushing frequency was used as one factor for oral hygiene.

The included studies differed in age of the study group (adolescents to seniors), size of the group (94-4153) and also geographically (Europe, America and Asia).

Community periodontal index, clinical attachment loss, pocket probing depth and alveolar bone loss were used individually or in combination to define periodontitis.

Concerning toothbrushing frequency a dichotomization applicable to each of the included studies was not possible. The dichotomization had to be made for each study individually to define between infrequent and frequent toothbrushing.

This meta-analysis presented a clear and highly significant association of infrequent toothbrushing and periodontitis. The impact of infrequent toothbrushing in most of the individual studies showed a trend but not so strong that the result was statistically significant.

Oral hygiene is known as one of the risk factors related to severity and progression of periodontitis. Frequency of toothbrushing is not necessarily the same as efficiency of toothbrushing, but as stated in the article a positive correlation is likely.

A summary of a scientific article

This summary of a scientific study by Zimmermann H et al. is presented by Anna Nilvéus Olofsson, DDS, Manager Odontology and Scientific Affairs. Click here for more information.