Background: Removal of oral biofilm from the oral mucosa is essential for preventing risk of respiratory and gastrointestinal infection in elderly people. Currently, no device is available which can remove oral biofilm from oral mucosa effectively and safely. Therefore, the effectiveness and safety of the Micro Scale Mist UNIT (MSM-UNIT), a newly developed dental plaque removal device utilizing high speed sprays of fine water droplets, were evaluated for biofilm removal, including the rate and surface roughness for simulated tooth surface and mucous membrane. Methods: Simulated tooth and oral mucosa coated with an artificial biofilm of Streptococcus mutans were used for evaluation of effectiveness, with uncoated substrates as the controls. The MSM-UNIT and a conventional air ablation device were operated under recommended instructions. The effectiveness was evaluated from the rate of removal of the biofilm, and the safety was evaluated from the damage observed by scanning electron microscope and surface roughness. Results: The biofilm removal rate of the MSM-UNIT was significantly higher than that of AIRFLOW. Little damage was observed in the area treated by the MSM-UNIT. The surface roughness of the MSM-UNIT treated area on simulated tooth surface and oral mucosa showed no significant difference to the control area. In contrast, cracks and powder were observed in the area treated by AIRFLOW. In particular, the surface roughness of the AIRFLOW treated area for Toughsilon was significantly larger than that of the control. Conclusions: The MSM-UNIT could be used safely and effectively for removing biofilm not only on simulated tooth surfaces but also simulated mucous membrane. The MSM-UNIT has no harmful effect on teeth or oral mucosa, and may be used for comprehensive oral care for patients during nursing care and the perioperative period.
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