Subgingival biofilm removal using glycine powder air polishing (GPAP) has antecedently been shown to be safe. The hypothesis that GPAP is efficacious during periodontal maintenance therapy and results in less gingival erosion than sodium bicarbonate air polishing (SBAP) or ultrasonic scaling was assessed.
Initial periodontal therapy was performed in each of the 22 chronic periodontitis patients having residual 5 mm probing depth in each quadrant and were randomly assigned to one of the following interventions: GPAP (test), SBAP (positive control), ultrasonic scaling (positive control) or no treatment. Clinical parameters were assessed, and gingival biopsies were taken immediately after instrumentation and sent for histological quantification.
Significant improvement in plaque and gingival index scores were noted in glycine powder air-polishing and ultrasonic group. GPAP resulted in minor erosion of the gingival epithelium (score 1 & 2), whereas positive control specimens displayed moderate to severe erosions (score 3 & 4). Difference between GPAP and positive control was significant. (P < 0.05).
GPAP results in clinically significant improvement in plaque and gingival index scores and histologically causes less gingival erosion than SBAP or ultrasonic instrumentation, further supporting the safety of this debridement technique in periodontal maintenance therapy.