New survey reveals patients may need support beyond mechanical cleaning alone

listerineJohnson & Johnson explains why mechanical cleaning along isn’t enough to support patients’ at home oral health regime.

Over 95% of dental professionals report that they often see patients who are struggling to manage their plaque levels at home through mechanical cleaning alone, according to a recent survey conducted by Johnson & Johnson, the makers of Listerine, which surveyed 721 oral health care professionals in April 2021 (Johnson & Johnson data on file).

In addition, out of the 721 dental professionals surveyed, over 80% responded that they still struggle to improve their patients’ mechanical cleaning to a level where plaque is manageable following further oral health education (Johnson & Johnson data on file).

So, whilst the standard recommendation remains to brush the teeth and clean interdentally, the overwhelming response from over 700 oral health care professionals suggests more may be needed to support some patients’ plaque levels over and above mechanical cleaning and oral health education (Johnson & Johnson data on file; Figuero et al, 2019).

Beyond brushing and interdental cleaning

Looking at the evidence base for adjunctive plaque management, Figuero and colleagues (2019) recently concluded that adjunctive antiseptics in mouthwash provide statistically significant reductions in plaque compared to mechanical cleaning alone at six months.

This was the outcome of a systematic review and meta-analysis exploring the adjunctive use of 11 different mouth rinse formulations (Figuero et al, 2019).

They also came to the conclusion that: ‘… despite the high variability in the number of studies comparing each active agent and the different risks of bias, CHX [chlorhexidine] and EOs [essential oils], in mouthrinses appeared to be the most effective active agents for plaque … control.’

The Figuero and colleagues’ (2019) outcomes add to the pre-existing evidence base presented by Araujo and colleagues (2015), which was the first meta-analysis to demonstrate the clinically significant, site-specific benefit of adjunctive essential oil mouthwash in people within a six-month period (that is, between dental visits).

The analysis revealed that 36.9% of subjects using mechanical methods with essential oil-containing mouthwash experienced at least 50% plaque-free sites after six months, compared to just 5.5% of patients using mechanical methods alone (Araujo et al, 2015).

Adjunctive options for your patients

Within the Johnson & Johnson Ltd mouthwash range, it has been demonstrated that, when used as an adjunct to mechanical cleaning, Listerine Total Care, an essential oil mouthwash, manages plaque levels, to help prevent gingivitis (Boyle, Koechlin and Autier, 2014).

Listerine Total Care may therefore support the efforts of a patient requiring early intervention, by virtue of its essential oil formulation consisting of eucalyptol, thymol, menthol and methyl salicylate, all of which are proven to:

  • Penetrate the plaque biofilm (Pan et al, 2000)
  • Manage the bacterial load of the mouth (Minah et al, 1989)
  • Reduce maturation of remaining biofilm colonies (Johnson & Johnson data on file).

It has been demonstrated that, when used as an adjunct to mechanical cleaning, Listerine Total Care is proven to achieve five times more plaque-free sites than mechanical methods alone, which may help to prevent gum disease (Araujo et al, 2015).

Through our range of mouthwashes, Johnson and Johnson Ltd helps dental teams work in partnership with patients, with specific products designed to improve home care routine outcomes significantly, which helps to support the prevention or management of periodontal disease when used in conjunction with mechanical cleaning.

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Araujo MWB, Charles C, Weinstein R, McGuire J, Parikh-Das A, Du Q, Zhang J, Berlin J and Gunsolley J (2015) Meta-analysis of the effect of an essential oil-containing mouthrinse on gingivitis and plaque. J Am Dent Assoc 146: 610-22

Boyle P, Koechlin A and Autier P (2014) Mouthwash use and the prevention of plaque, gingivitis and caries. Oral Dis 20(1): 1-68

Figuero E, Roldán S, Serrano J, Escribano M, Martín C and Preshaw P (2019) Efficacy of adjunctive therapies in patients with gingival inflammation. A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Clin Perio 

Minah GE, DePaola LG, Overholser CD, Meiller TF, Niehaus C, Lamm RA, Ross NM and Dills SS (1989) Effects of 6 months use of an antiseptic mouthrinse on supragingival dental plaque microflora. J Clin Periodontol 16: 347-52

Pan P, Barnett ML, Coelho J, Brogdon C and Finnegan MB (2000) Determination of the in situ bactericidal activity of an essential oil mouthrinse using a vital stain method. J Clin Periodontol 27: 256-61

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