Graduation Date

Summer 8-12-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences

First Advisor

Richard A. Reinhardt DDS, PhD

Second Advisor

Amy C. Killeen DDS, MS

Third Advisor

Jeffrey B. Payne, DDS, MDentSc

Fourth Advisor

Thomas P. Petro, PhD


A survey of dental hygienists in general practice (DHGP; n = 74) and periodontal practice (DHPP; n = 62) indicated a difference (p £ 0.04) in preference for interproximal cleaning with oral irrigators (DHGP) and interproximal brushes (DHPP) during periodontal maintenance therapy (PMT). The purpose of the subsequent blinded, randomized controlled clinical trial was to compare the effect of interproximal cleaning aids on reducing inflammation in posterior pockets during PMT. Seventy-six patients on PMT with a 5-7 mm interproximal probing depth were randomly allocated to one of three groups: 1) interproximal brush with tracking device (IB + TD; n=23), 2) oral irrigator (OI; n =27) or 3) interproximal brush alone (IB; n=26). Bleeding on probing (BOP), Gingival Index (GI) and gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) profiles were assessed at baseline and 6-weeks. IL-1b, IL-6, IL-17A, TNF-a, IL-4, IL-10 and IFN-g were assessed with Human Milliplex Analysis. BOP and GI were significantly reduced (p < 0.0001) in all groups with no difference among groups. There was a significantly greater reduction for IL-1b with IB + TD compared to OI (p < 0.05) and a similar trend for IL-6 (p = 0.06).

Conclusions: All groups showed improvement in GI and BOP. However, IB + TD showed more IL-1b reduction indicating that devices to encourage homecare may enhance reduction of important markers of inflammation.