Overview

Because gingivitis is highly prevalent and can progress to periodontitis in susceptible individuals, clinicians frequently recommend products containing antimicrobial agents as a means to inhibit bacterial metabolism and/or decrease bacterial quantity. Not all antimicrobials are equivalent. Recent research has shown another dimension by which the sole fluoride which is concurrently an antimicrobial – stannous fluoride – fights gingivitis: it reduces plaque toxicity via disruption of the normal inflammatory host response that would be triggered by the presence of plaque endotoxins in the gingival sulcus. Using a well-formulated antimicrobial bioavailable fluoride toothpaste is an easy to adapt and research-supported means for: 1) gingivitis prevention in healthy but susceptible patients; and 2) chemotherapeutic treatment for patients with existing disease.