Root caries is prevalent in elderly disabled nursing home residents in Denmark. This study aimed to compare the effectiveness of tooth brushing with 5,000 versus 1,450 ppm of fluoridated toothpaste (F-toothpaste) for controlling root caries in nursing home residents. The duration of the study was 8 months. Elderly disabled residents (n = 176) in 6 nursing homes in the Copenhagen area consented to take part in the study. They were randomly assigned to use one of the two toothpastes. Both groups had their teeth brushed twice a day by the nursing staff. A total of 125 residents completed the study. Baseline and follow-up clinical examinations were performed by one calibrated examiner. Texture, contour, location and colour of root caries lesions were used to evaluate lesion activity. No differences (p values >0.16) were noted in the baseline examination with regards to age, mouth dryness, wearing of partial or full dentures in one of the jaws, occurrence of plaque and active (2.61 vs. 2.67; SD, 1.7 vs.1.8) or arrested lesions (0.62 vs. 0.63; SD, 1.7 vs. 1.7) between the 5,000 and the 1,450 ppm fluoride groups, respectively. Mean numbers of active root caries lesions at the follow-up examination were 1.05 (2.76) versus 2.55 (1.91) and mean numbers of arrested caries lesions were 2.13 (1.68) versus 0.61 (1.76) in the 5,000 and the 1,450 ppm fluoride groups, respectively (p < 0.001). To conclude, 5,000 ppm F-toothpaste is significantly more effective for controlling root caries lesion progression and promoting remineralization compared to 1,450 ppm F-toothpaste.
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