Bacterial contamination and decontamination of toothbrushes after use

Department of Community Dentistry, Jaipur Dental College, India.
The New York state dental journal 05/2007; 73(3):20-2.
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to determine the extent of bacterial contamination of toothbrushes after use and the efficacy of chlorhexidine and Listerine in decontaminating toothbrushes. The effectiveness of covering a toothbrush head with a plastic cap in preventing contamination was also evaluated. It was found that 70% of the used toothbrushes were heavily contaminated with different pathogenic microorganisms. Use of a cap leads to growth of opportunistic microorganisms like Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which may cause infection in the oral cavity. Overnight immersion of a toothbrush in chlorhexidine gluconate (0.2%) was found to be highly effective in preventing such microbial contamination.

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Available from: Abhishek Mehta, Jan 09, 2015
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    • "Quirynen et al. found that coated tuffs did not inhibit contamination but use of toothpaste did reduce contamination [15]. Mehta et al. found that an overnight immersion in chlorhexidine gluconate was highly effective in decreasing toothbrush contamination and chlorhexidine was more effective than Listerine in reducing the microbial load of bacteria [10]. Sato et al. found that rinsing toothbrushes with tap water resulted in continued high levels of contamination and biofilm [16]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Toothbrushes are commonly used in hospital settings and may harbor potentially harmful microorganisms. A peer-reviewed literature review was conducted to evaluate the cumulative state of knowledge related to toothbrush contamination and its possible role in disease transmission. A systematic review was conducted on adult human subjects through three distinct searches. The review resulted in seven experimental and three descriptive studies which identified multiple concepts related to toothbrush contamination to include contamination, methods for decontamination, storage, design, and environmental factors. The selected studies found that toothbrushes of healthy and oral diseased adults become contaminated with pathogenic bacteria from the dental plaque, design, environment, or a combination of factors. There are no studies that specifically examine toothbrush contamination and the role of environmental factors, toothbrush contamination, and vulnerable populations in the hospital setting (e.g., critically ill adults) and toothbrush use in nursing clinical practice.
    01/2012; 2012(7):420630. DOI:10.1155/2012/420630
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    • "Several studies in the literature have reported the contamination and the survival rate of pathogenic or nonpathogenic microorganisms harboring toothbrushes bristles after single use in healthy or diseased patients (Mehta et al., 2007; Muller et al., 1989; Papaioannou et al., 2002; Verran and Leahy-Gilmartin, 1996). After frequent use, the toothbrushes are contaminated with microorganisms that colonize the oral cavity (Wetzel et al., 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: The presence and survival of microorganisms on toothbrush bristles might play a role on the etiology of oral infections. The aim of this in vitro study was to evaluate the presence of bacterial contamination on new toothbrushes before oral contact. Forty toothbrushes from five different manufacturers were used in this experimental study. Each manufacturer was divided according to conventional local of obtaining: industry, drugstore, market, and perfumery. The toothbrush heads were completely immersed into tubes containing 5.0 mL of sterile peptonated water (dilution 1:10). A group of eight tubes containing the sterile solution was used as control. After 21 days of anaerobic incubation, occurrence of contamination was visually evaluated and confirmed by light microscopy. Bacterial growth in the medium, indicative of bristles contamination, was found in a total of 19 out of 40 samples (47.5%) evaluated: 6 out of 14 samples (42.85%) from industry group, 4 out of 8 samples (50.0%) from drugstore, 5 out of 10 samples (50.0%) from market, and 4 out of 8 samples (50.0%) from perfumery. Only the toothbrushes with bristles coated with chlorhexidine did not show contamination. The Gram-negative sporulating bacilli were the most prevalent form recovered. Except for chlorhexidine group, bacterial growth was observed in all groups evaluated irrespective local of obtaining.
    Microscopy Research and Technique 01/2012; 75(1):42-5. DOI:10.1002/jemt.21020 · 1.15 Impact Factor
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    • "Several authors[343536] have reported that bacterial contamination can be reduced by washing toothbrushes after use, and drying under aerated conditions. Likewise Caudry et al.[20] and Mehta et al.[37] have also reported that a wet environment increases bacterial growth and cross-contamination. Therefore, as time increases between one tooth brushing and another, more microorganism development can occur in the toothbrushes stored in a wet/moisture environment. "
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    ABSTRACT: Toothbrushes are rapidly contaminated with different microorganisms representing a possible cause of infection or reinfection especially in the periodontal patients under therapy. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the sanitization of toothbrushes previously contaminated by various oral microorganisms using a domestic microwave oven and commercial ultraviolet (UV) light toothbrush sanitizer. Thirty male dental graduates were randomly assigned to control or experimental groups and received standardized toothbrushes for home use. Each subject was instructed to use it with the standardized modified Bass technique for 1 week and submit it to the investigator after use. Collected toothbrushes were cultured and analyzed for the number of colony-forming units (CFUs). In the next phase, once again a new set of toothbrush was given to each subject and instructed to use it for one more week and follow the same instructions as given earlier. Subsequently, the used toothbrushes were again collected and were sanitized by microwave irradiation, UV radiation, or were not sanitized (control group). After the sanitization procedure, toothbrushes were again cultured for the number of CFUs. The collected data of the presanitized and postsanitized CFU count were log transformed to normalize their distributions prior to analysis. Furthermore, log CFU data were compared and analyzed by one-way ANOVA, Tukey's post hoc procedure, and paired t-test for the difference in the mean at P<0.05. Result showed that after the sanitization procedure, there was a significant (P<0.001) reduction in microbial contamination in both microwave and UV group toothbrushes compared to control group toothbrushes whereas the microbial count in the microwave group was significantly less (P<0.001) compared to the UV group. The evidence presented in this study suggests that microwave irradiation is an effective disinfectant agent for bacteria and fungi on toothbrushes.
    03/2011; 1(1):20-6. DOI:10.4103/2231-0762.86383
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