Gingivitis continues to be prevalent, with nine out of ten adult Americans exhibiting symptoms of mild or greater severity. Its occurrence and severity are influenced by multiple factors, including the bacterial composition of plaque biofilm and the host response. Antimicrobial agents are often recommended for gingivitis patients to reduce the quantity of bacteria in the biofilm and/or inhibit bacterial metabolism. New research has shown stannous fluoride—the only fluoride with antimicrobial properties—also improves gingival health by reducing the toxicity of plaque, even in the gingival sulcus, through interference with the host response. Specifically, stannous fluoride binds to the bacterial endotoxins and prevents their interaction with gingival tissue receptors associated with inflammation. This mechanism is important as it supports the use of stabilized stannous fluoride dentifrice not only in patients with existing gingival bleeding and inflammation, but also in patients who may be susceptible to it.
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