Effect of a multi-faceted intervention on gingival health among adults with systemic sclerosis

Academic Article


  • Objective. To evaluate the effect of adaptive oral hygiene devices and orofacial exercise to improve gingival health among adults with systemic sclerosis (SSc). Methods. Forty-eight patients with SSc were assigned randomly to the multi-faceted oral health intervention or usual dental care control group. Participants in the intervention group received a rechargeable, powered Oral-B® oscillating-rotating-pulsating toothbrush and a Reach® Access™ Flosser that has a toothbrush-like handle. For those with an oral aperture of less than 40 mm, orofacial exercises were taught. Participants in the control group were each given a manual toothbrush and dental floss. Participants in both groups received instructions and demonstration on the use of the devices, and were requested to perform the respective intervention twice a day for 6 months. Evaluations were at baseline, 3-, and 6-months. The main outcome was gingival index (GI), an indicator of gingival inflammation. Results. Both groups showed significant reduction in GI scores at 6 months (ps<0.005). Reduction in GI scores of the intervention group at 6 months was 20.8% which is considered to be clinically significant. Compared to the control group, the intervention group showed a significant and larger reduction in GI score by 8% at 6 months (p=0.0007). Conclusion. Results support the use of adaptive devices and orofacial exercise to improve gingival health in adults with SSc when compared to use of manual toothbrushing and finger-held flossing. Recommending and educating patients with SSc to use adaptive devices to clean the tooth surfaces looks promising for long-term oral health improvement. © Copyright Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology 2011.
  • Authors

    Author List

  • Yuen HK; Weng Y; Bandyopadhyay D; Reed SG; Leite RS; Silver RM
  • Volume

  • 29
  • Issue

  • 2 SUPPL. 65