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Dental Water irrigation devices

# Water irrigation devices (oral irrigators) have been shown to:
A. Eliminate plaque
B. Clean nonadherent bacteria and debris from the oral cavity more effectively than toothbrushes and mouth rinses.
C. Disinfect pockets for up to 12 hours
D. Prevent calculus formation



The correct answer is B. Clean nonadherent bacteria and debris from the oral cavity more effectively than toothbrushes and mouth rinses.

Oral irrigators for daily home use by patients work by directing a high-pressure, steady or pulsating stream of water through a nozzle to the tooth surfaces. Most often, a device with a built-in pump generates the pressure. Oral irrigators clean nonadherent bacteria and debris from the oral cavity more effectively than toothbrushes and mouth rinses.

When used as adjuncts to toothbrushing, these devices can have a beneficial effect on periodontal
health by reducing the accumulation of plaque and calculus and decreasing inflammation and pocket depth.

Oral irrigation has been shown to disrupt and detoxify subgingival plaque and can be useful in delivering antimicrobial agents into periodontal pockets. Note: Daily supragingival irrigation with a dilute antiseptic, chlorhexidine, for 6 months resulted in significant reductions in bleeding and gingivitis compared with water irrigation and ch1orhexidine rinse controls. Irrigation with water alone also reduced gingivitis significantly, but not as much as the dilute chlorhexidine.

Important: Oral irrigators may be contraindicated in patients requiring antibiotic premedication
prior to dental treatment since these devices have the potential for causing bacteremia. The patient's physician should be consulted.

Remember: The pathology associated with gingivitis is completely reversible with the
removal of plaque and the resolution of the inflammation.

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