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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    • "According to the literature, toothbrushes can be contaminated by microorganisms, which can originate from the oral cavity, the environment, the hands, aerosol contamination, contact with other toothbrushes, or from storage containers [12] [13] [14]. There is limited research on microorganisms, most particularly S. aureus and P. aeruginosa toothbrush contamination after use [13] [15]. Since toothbrushes can be a potential vector for CF bronchial contamination by S. aureus and P. aeruginosa and since no data exist on CF toothbrush bacterial contamination, we conducted a descriptive pilot study to assess the prevalence of two pathogens – S. aureus and P. aeruginosa – on the toothbrushes of CF children vs their siblings and healthy controls. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus toothbrush contamination in cystic fibrosis (CF) is unknown. This pilot study aimed to determine their prevalence and the potential involvement of toothbrushes in pulmonary infection. Methods: Toothbrush bacteriological analysis for children aged 8-18years was conducted on 27CF patients, 15healthy siblings, and 15 healthy children from the general population. Results: S. aureus was detected on 22% of the patients' toothbrushes, and 13% of healthy children's toothbrushes and P. aeruginosa on 15% of patients' toothbrushes and 0-13% of healthy children's toothbrushes. There was no statistical correlation between pulmonary colonization and toothbrush contamination. P. aeruginosa genotyping showed two identical clones on the patients' toothbrushes and in their sputum, and between one patient's sputum and his sibling's toothbrush. Conclusion: S. aureus and P. aeruginosa can colonize CF patients' toothbrushes. The impact on pulmonary colonization remains unknown. Toothbrush decontamination methods need to consider these bacteria in CF patients.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Archives de Pédiatrie
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    • "Several articles have reported the bacterial and fungal contamination of brushes, with higher or lower contamination being associated with numerous interferences placed between the brush and the handle [1]. Toothbrush has been characterized as a means of microbial transport, retention and growth and highly contaminated brushes may cause a possible constant re-infection which is a risk factor for periodontal disease [9]. "

    Full-text · Article · Jan 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.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2012
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