Toothbrushing promotes gingival fibroblast proliferation more effectively than removal of dental plaque

Masazumi Horiuchi, Tatsuo Yamamoto, Takaaki Tomofuji, Akira Ishikawa, Manabu Morita, Tatsuo Watanabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Removal of dental plaque is an essential element of periodontal treatment. However, there have also been studies of the effects of the mechanical stimulation provided by toothbrushing on gingival host-defense mechanisms. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of toothbrushing on gingival fibroblast proliferation in dogs over time, compared to effects of plaque removal without brushing. Methods: The mouths of six mongrel dogs were divided into four quadrants: two for daily toothbrushing, and two for daily plaque removal with a curette. After 1, 3 and 5 weeks of treatment, histometrical analyses were performed to assess inflammatory cell infiltration, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA)-positive fibroblasts, procollagen type I-positive fibroblasts in the subepithelial connective tissue of junctional epithelium. Results: Toothbrushing increased the number of PCNA-positive fibroblasts in the first week, increased the number of type I procollagen-positive fibroblasts at the fifth week, and reduced inflammatory cell infiltration at the third week. Conclusion: These findings suggest that mechanically stimulated fibroblasts begin proliferating within a week, and this cell division results in an increased number of fibroblasts at the third week. It takes 5 weeks before differences in collagen synthesis between brushing and plaque removal areas are detectable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)791-795
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Periodontology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2002


  • Gingivitis
  • Procollagen type I
  • Proliferating cell nuclear antigen
  • Toothbrushing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics


Dive into the research topics of 'Toothbrushing promotes gingival fibroblast proliferation more effectively than removal of dental plaque'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this