To investigate whether the use of xylitol-impregnated toothbrushes affects periodontal condition and microbial flora in orthodontic patients with poor oral hygiene.
Forty-four patients with baseline mean Turesky plaque index scores ≥1.5 were randomly divided into two groups. Half received xylitol-containing toothbrushes and the other half, xylitol-free toothbrushes. The periodontal measurements and saliva samples were taken at baseline (T0), 1 month later (T1), and 3 months after brushing (T2) to evaluate periodontal health and microflora changes. Periodontal status was assessed with plaque index (PI), gingival index (GI), and bleeding on probing (BOP) scores. Data were statistically analyzed with Mann-Whitney U and Friedman tests.
All periodontal parameters significantly decreased from T0 to T1 and from T0 to T2 in both groups. The PI and GI scores reduced significantly in the control group, while BOP scores reduced in both groups between T1 and T2. Intergroup comparisons showed significant differences for BOP, PI, and GI at T0, T1, and T2 times, respectively. For microbial parameters, there were no statistically significant differences within groups from T0 to T1. Total bacterial counts significantly decreased in the xylitol group between T1 and T2. Decreases in Streptococcus mutans and total bacteria were significant in both groups from T0 to T2. No significant differences were found between the groups in microbial flora at any time.
A 3-month use of xylitol-containing toothbrushes showed almost the same changes and provided no positive effects on periodontal and microbial parameters compared to the control group.
Private Practice, Muğla, Turkey.
Assistant Professor, Department of Orthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, Pamukkale University, Denizli, Turkey.
Professor, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Pamukkale University, Denizli, Turkey.