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Dental plaque - associated infections and antibacterial oral hygiene products.

Verran, Joanna (1991) Dental plaque - associated infections and antibacterial oral hygiene products. International journal of cosmetic science, 13 (1). pp. 29-42. ISSN 0142-5463

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Abstract

Dental plaque accumulates on hard non-shedding surfaces such as teeth, dentures and orthodontic appliances. This accumulation is facilitated by the absence of adequate oral hygiene procedures. The term 'plaque' describes a mass of microorganisms embedded in an organic matrix of host and microbial origin. In addition to the aesthetic desirability of 'clean teeth, healthy gums and fresh breath' associated with the absence of plaque, obvious consequences of the presence of plaque include tooth decay (dental caries), gingivitis and periodontal (gum) disease and denture associated problems. Thus the prevention of plaque formation, the reduction of plaque accumulation and the effective removal of plaque are considerations of the cosmetic and health professions alike. There are many oral hygiene products available to the general public - toothpastes, mouthwashes, denture cleaners, and, more recently, chewing gums and novel mouthwashes. Several of these products have antimicrobial components. This paper reviews the microbiology of plaque and plaque associated problems, and surveys the type of products currently available for maintenance of good oral hygiene. Potential areas for future development are also explored.

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