The WaterJet Flosser: An Effective Alternative to Subgingival Antibiotic Treatment for Periodontal Maintenance Patients

Periodontal Maintenance Following Scaling and Root Planing, Comparing Minocycline Treatment to Daily Oral Irrigation with Water


Trying to limit the use of antimicrobial drugs in periodontitis is a general trend. Thus, the aim of the present study was to assess the efficacy of daily water irrigation in comparison with subgingival minocycline in periodontal maintenance, in subjects with moderate to severe periodontitis. This was done by evaluating probing pocket depth (the primary outcome), other clinical parameters such as clinical attachment level, plaque index and bleeding on probing, and bacterial flora changes inside periodontal pockets.

Materials and Methods:

In this single-center, parallel, single blind, randomized clinical study, thirty subjects (12 men, mean age 56 ± 2.2 years) with moderate to severe periodontitis were randomized 1:1 into a minocycline-treated group (M-group, n=15) and a water-treated group (W-group, n=15). Clinical and microbiological parameters were measured at baseline. Scaling and root planing were carried out on all subjects, then to M-group patients minocycline was administered inside the pockets. W-group subjects had instead to daily apply oral irrigation with water. Clinical and microbiological measurements were repeated after 30 days.


Both water irrigation and minocycline treatment led to a significant reduction of all the clinical parameters tested at t=30 days with respect to baseline. Moreover, both procedures appeared to be able to maintain a low bacterial load inside periodontal pockets, for most of the microorganisms tested. No statistically significant differences were observed between M-group and W-group at t=30 days, concerning both clinical and microbiological parameters. However, further studies are needed to assess the long-term effect.


Daily oral irrigation with water showed comparable efficacy to a single administration of minocycline in periodontal maintenance subjects.