New advice offered on benefits of antimicrobial mouthrinse

June 1, 2007
American Dental Association to note that the use of ADA-accepted antimicrobial mouthrinse helps prevent and reduce plaque and gingivitis.

MORRIS PLAINS, New Jersey--The American Dental Association has announced new advice to consumers about good oral health habits.

For the first time, the ADA will supplement its recommendations with the message that the use of ADA-accepted antimicrobial mouthrinse helps prevent and reduce plaque and gingivitis. The long-standing ADA recommendations for good oral hygiene include brushing, flossing, a healthy diet and visiting the dentist.

LISTERINE Antiseptic, the only ADA-accepted, nationally branded, over-the-counter antimicrobial mouthrinse, has been proven to help prevent and reduce plaque and gingivitis in more than 30 clinical studies.

Gingivitis, which affects more than half of all adult Americans at some point in their lives, is an inflammation of the gums caused by the build up of plaque along the gum line.

The ADA continues to recommend that people brush twice a day with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste; clean between their teeth with an ADA-accepted floss or ADA-accepted interdental cleaner; eat a balanced diet and limit between meal snacks; and visit their dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral examinations.

In addition, the ADA advises:

* Use of an ADA-accepted antimicrobial mouthrinse or toothpaste helps prevent and reduce plaque and gingivitis

* Use of an ADA-accepted fluoride mouthrinse helps prevent and reduce tooth decay.

"The ADA's recognition of the importance of antimicrobial mouthrinses reinforces the idea that brushing and flossing alone may not always be enough to prevent the build up of plaque that can lead to the gum disease gingivitis, which many adult Americans have, and don't even realize it," said Lori Kumar, PhD, vice president, oral care research and development, McNEIL-PPC, Inc., makers of LISTERINE Antiseptic mouthwash.

"Adding LISTERINE Antiseptic to a routine of brushing and flossing has been shown to reduce up to 52 percent more plaque and up to 21 percent more gingivitis than brushing and flossing alone."

Rinsing removes harmful bacteria that brushes and floss may miss
Plaque, a soft, sticky film of bacteria, is directly responsible for the development of gingivitis, an early and reversible form of gum disease. Left untreated, gingivitis can lead to more advanced gum disease, also called periodontitis, which can lead to tooth loss, and may be linked to health problems elsewhere in the body.

Twice-daily brushing and once-daily flossing, which the ADA continues to stress, can be effective at removing plaque from the tooth surface--but the teeth represent only about 25 percent of the surface area inside the mouth. An antimicrobial mouthrinse reaches the whole mouth, killing germs in "reservoirs" where plaque bacteria survive.

Adding an antimicrobial mouthrinse to a routine of brushing and flossing could be particularly beneficial to those who are older or physically impaired and may not have the dexterity to brush and floss effectively.

New advice consistent with established research
"The ADA's emphasis on the value of antimicrobial mouthrinses is consistent with the existing scientific research which has firmly established the role bacteria play in the development of gum disease and the effectiveness of antimicrobial mouthrinses in combating those bacteria," said Dr. Sebastian G. Ciancio, Distinguished Service Professor & Chair, Department of Periodontics & Endodontics, University of Buffalo SUNY School of Dental Medicine.

In addition to affirming the benefits of ADA-Accepted antimicrobial mouth rinses, the ADA also highlighted the use of ADA-Accepted antimicrobial toothpastes to help combat plaque, and the use of ADA-Accepted fluoride mouth rinses to help prevent tooth decay. All three health messages are complementary to the association's previously existing guidelines.

"The American Dental Association's confirmation of the importance of antiseptic mouthrinse and its oral health benefits reflects the organization's commitment to providing its members and consumers with information reflecting the latest scientific advances in good oral hygiene," said Kathleen Weber, vice president, oral care, McNEIL-PPC, Inc. "As a leader in the oral health industry, we support the ADA in its efforts to educate the public about the importance of oral health."

For more information regarding the ADA's new advice about antimicrobial mouthrinses, visit a href=''>American Dental Association.