Purpose: This randomized clinical trial tested whether a novel bristleless toothbrush design is more effective in preventing gingival recession in adults receiving periodontal maintenance than is a soft toothbrush with nylon bristles.
Materials and Methods: Twenty-three subjects with gingival recession were recruited who received regular periodontal maintenance care at Western University of Health Sciences Dental Center, and who did not exhibit signs of acute dental or systemic disease, occlusal discrepancies or parafunctional habits. These subjects were randomly assigned to to two groups, one using a soft nylon-bristled toothbrush, and the other using the experimental toothbrush that contains a brush head with short, soft, rubbery cones. Both groups received regular periodontal maintenance and periodontal exams by blinded examiners every 3-4 months, measuring probing depth, bleeding on probing, and plaque indices. Gingival recession was assessed clinically and through use of a stent on diagnostic casts obtained at each visit.
Results: Average probing depths, plaque levels, and the number of sites with bleeding on probing did not change over at least 9 months. After 9 months, there was a small but statistically significant improvement in gingival recession (0.4 mm, p < 0.01) at sites with gingival recession in the experimental toothbrush group compared to the control group.
Conclusion: In periodontal maintenance patients, the bristleless toothbrush used in this study was as effective in plaque removal and prevention of gingival inflammation than a conventional toothbrush with soft nylon bristles, while increasing the possibility of gingival tissue rebound over denuded root surfaces.