The aim of this study is to assess the effects of dental flossing upon the anaerob flora of the sulcus gingivalis. Sterile and fluoride-free floss was used with 3 movements to clean the interdental spaces of 10 persons. Each movement consisted of an occlusal-apical and an apical-occlusal direction (introduction and removal). Microbiological samples were collected with sterile paper cones from the aproximal crevicular fluid before and after dental flossing. After the use of dental floss the anaerob flora of sulcus gingivalis exhibited significant qualitative changes: a part of the aerob species became facultative anaerobs and the crevicular flora got enriched with novel obligate anaerob germs. The modifications produced by flossing can strongly influence the initial characteristics of the sulcus gingivalis, because it transports into the sulcus a certain quantity of the interproximal bacterial plaque.
Keywords: dental floss, sulcus gingivalis, anaerob flora