This randomized parallel group clinical trial assessed whether combined antibacterial and fluoride therapy benefits the balance between caries pathological and protective factors. Eligible, enrolled adults (n = 231), with 1-7 baseline cavitated teeth, attending a dental school clinic were randomly assigned to a control or intervention group. Salivary mutans streptococci (MS), lactobacilli (LB), fluoride (F) level, and resulting caries risk status (low or high) assays were determined at baseline and every 6 months. After baseline, all cavitated teeth were restored. An examiner masked to group conducted caries exams at baseline and 2 years after completing restorations. The intervention group used fluoride dentifrice (1,100 ppm F as NaF), 0.12% chlorhexidine gluconate rinse based upon bacterial challenge (MS and LB), and 0.05% NaF rinse based upon salivary F. For the primary outcome, mean caries increment, no statistically significant difference was observed (24% difference between control and intervention groups, p = 0.101). However, the supplemental adjusted zero-inflated Poisson caries increment (change in DMFS) model showed the intervention group had a statistically significantly 24% lower mean than the control group (p = 0.020). Overall, caries risk reduced significantly in intervention versus control over 2 years (baseline adjusted generalized linear mixed models odds ratio, aOR = 3.45; 95% CI: 1.67, 7.13). Change in MS bacterial challenge differed significantly between groups (aOR = 6.70; 95% CI: 2.96, 15.13) but not for LB or F. Targeted antibacterial and fluoride therapy based on salivary microbial and fluoride levels favorably altered the balance between pathological and protective caries risk factors.
Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.