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International Journal of Dentistry
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 651869, 7 pages
Research Article

Clinical Implications of Power Toothbrushing on Fluoride Delivery: Effects on Biofilm Plaque Metabolism and Physiology

1Clinical and Scientific Affairs, Philips Oral Healthcare, 35301 SE Center Street, Snoqualmie, WA 98065, USA
2National Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS), School of Engineering Sciences, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, Uk
3Center for Genomic Sciences, Allegheny-Singer Research Institute, 11th Floor South Tower, 320 East North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212-4772, USA

Received 2 December 2009; Accepted 4 February 2010

Academic Editor: Alexandre R. Vieira

Copyright © 2010 M. Aspiras et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Dental biofilms are implicated in the formation of caries and periodontal disease. A major constituent of the supragingival biofilm is Streptococcus mutans, which produces lactic acid from sucrose fermentation, enhancing enamel demineralization and eventual caries development. Caries prevention through F inhibits enamel demineralization and promotes remineralization. Fluoride also exerts effects on metabolic activities in the supragingival biofilm such as aerobic respiration, acid fermentation and dentrification. In experimental S. mutans biofilms, adding 1000 ppm F to an acidogenic biofilm resulting from 10% sucrose addition increased pH to pre-sucrose levels, suggesting inhibition of acid fermentation. F effects on metabolic activity and sucrose utilization in interproximal plaque biofilms were also recorded. Addition of 10% sucrose reduced pH from neutral to 4.2, but subsequent addition of 1000 ppm F increased pH by 1 unit, inhibiting acid fermentation. 10% Sucrose addition also stimulated denitrification, increasing production of nitrous oxide (N2O). Addition of 1000 ppm F suppressed denitrification, indicating an additional mechanism by which F exerts effects in the active interproximal biofilm. Finally, fluid dynamic activity by power tooth brushing enhanced F delivery and retention in an experimental S. mutans biofilm, suggesting a potential novel benefit for this intervention beyond mechanical plaque removal.