Windsor was the venue for a recent international opinion leader meeting on rediscovering the role of the daily use of mouthwashes in maintaining oral health. The meeting comprised a number of a keynote presentations and roundtable discussions under the chairmanship of Professor Nairn Wilson, Dean and Head of the King’s College London Dental Institute.
A scene setting presentation by Dr Dan Fine elucidated the history and benefits of essential oils in Listerine. Dr Fine’s work, from concept through to daily use of a mouthrinse by more than a billion consumers worldwide, is an exemplary case study in translational research. This was followed by a masterful presentation by Professor Phil Marsh on oral biofilm formation and maturation in oral health and disease, with special emphasis on the challenges of demonstrating antimicrobial efficacy on the positive attributes of oral biofilm biology. Dr Pauline Pan contributed an overview of in vitro models of biofilms for the preclinical assessment of mouthrinse technologies. Advanced modelling offers the opportunity of predicting clinical performance, and shedding new light on the mode of action of different mouthwashes and mouthwash regimes. Professor William Wade explored the existing and yet to be discovered knowledge of oral flora, emphasising the paucity of knowledge in respect of unculturable species forming a large element of the oral flora.
Discussion confirmed that the daily use of mouthrinses makes an important contribution to oral health and, in turn, general well-being and, in all probability systemic health. Despite recent advances in knowledge and understanding, many aspects of the complexities of the oral flora and biofilms remain to be investigated, together with the complex ways in which the daily use of mouthrinses contribute to oral health. As in many aspects of oral health sciences, in common with science in general, new findings pose as many questions as they answer.
A monograph of the meeting is planned and will be edited by Professor William Wade. For further information, please contact MJM Communications – [email protected]