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Title: Dental biofilm formation in young children and the long term effects of fluoride varnish
Author: Greenwood, D.
Awarding Body: University of Salford
Current Institution: University of Salford
Date of Award: 2016
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Introduction: Fluoride is widely used as a method of reducing caries and while much is known about the processes involved in enamel remineralisation the effects of fluoride on indigenous biofilms in vivo are unclear. Aims: The aim of this study was to combine data specifying the distribution of oral bacteria derived from clinical samples with in vitro observations in order to define the effects of improved behaviour and the use of fluoride varnish on the development and metabolic activity of oral biofilms. Methods: 30 children (aged approximately 12 months) were divided into three groups. The Behavioural group were instructed in improved dental hygiene (e.g. brushing and reduced sugar intake), the Fluoride group received biannual applications of fluoride varnish (Fluor Protector, ‘FP’, 0.1% fluoride) and the Control group received the standard NHS dental service. Over two years the bacterial composition of clinical samples (produced by the Human Oral Microbe Identification microarray, ‘HOMIM’) was compared to similar data generated from an in vitro study (utilising the Plaque Glycolysis Regrowth Method, ‘PGRM’) in order to describe the effects of FP on the composition and metabolic activity of oral biofilms. Results: In vitro the PGRM study indicated no difference in the acidogenicity between FP treated and untreated biofilms (P = 0.96) however, a significant increase in richness was observed in the presence of FP (P = 0.048). Similarly, samples collected from children, which were highly comparable at Baseline (P > 0.05), indicated a significant drop in the number of species identified in the Control group when compared to the Fluoride and the Behavioural groups (P < 0.05) by age 3. Conclusions: Results indicate that fluoride provides a homeostatic effect which promotes increased diversity in oral biofilms, a feature which has been associated with oral health.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: GlaxoSmithKline
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available