Another key reason for performing oral hygiene is to maintain adequate gingival and periodontal health. While more informed patients may be aware of and motivated by the implications of not practicing thorough plaque removal, global epidemiological statistics show most individuals fall short in adequate plaque control for disease prevention. The FDI World Federation cites periodontal disease (and its precursor plaque-induced gingivitis) as one of the two most common (the other being dental caries, covered later in this course), and largely preventable – oral health conditions around the world.6
With this in mind, daily thorough oral hygiene is essential, given that the amount of dental plaque grows when not removed and its composition becomes increasingly more virulent, creating a state of dysbiosis which in turn triggers inflammation. Historically, efforts to prevent esthetically unpleasing smiles and the initiation of gingivitis have thus largely centered around plaque control using the mainstay of the daily personal oral hygiene regimen – the toothbrush.