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J Dent Res. 1992 Jul;71(7):1439-49.

Delivery of antiplaque agents from dentifrices, gels, and mouthwashes.

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Unilever Dental Research, Port Sunlight Laboratory, Bebington, Wirral, England.


Antiplaque agents delivered from toothpastes, gels, or mouthrinses can augment mechanical oral hygiene procedures to control the formation of supragingival plaque and the development of early periodontal disease. Clinically effective antiplaque agents are characterized by a combination of intrinsic antibacterial activity and good oral retention properties. The overall oral retention of an antiplaque agent is determined by the strength and rate of association of the agent with its receptor sites and the accessibility of these sites. The substantivity of an antiplaque agent and its clearance from the oral cavity are determined by the rate of dissociation of the agent from the receptor sites and the salivary composition and flow rate. Positively charged and non-charged organic molecules, metal ions, enzymes, and surface-active agents have all been considered as antiplaque agents. To exert clinical antiplaque activity, an antimicrobial agent must be formulated in a chemically compatible delivery vehicle to give optimal release and uptake to the sites of action in a biologically active form during its time of application. In principle, antiplaque activity may be enhanced by combining antimicrobial agents with broadly similar, but complementary, modes of action. Alternatively, the activity of a single agent may be increased by use of a retention aid to enhance oral substantivity. Substantial evidence exists to demonstrate the validity of the first approach. However, there are few data, as yet, to support the effectiveness of the second. The oral mucosa is the bulk retention site for all clinically proven antiplaque agents. Plaque, the pellicle-coated tooth surface, and saliva are probably all sites of biological action. A detailed understanding of the interactions between agents and the various receptor sites, and of the importance of these receptor sites to biological activity, is generally lacking.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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