Regular use of fluoride toothpaste containing triclosan, an antibacterial agent, and a copolymer, which helps prevent the triclosan from being washed away by saliva, reduces plaque, gingivitis, and bleeding gums and slightly reduces tooth decay compared to fluoride toothpaste without those ingredients, finds a new review.
Tooth decay and gingivitis are the main causes of tooth loss. Both are caused by plaque, the film of bacteria that builds up on teeth, and if left untreated, can lead to periodontitis, a more serious gum disease that can cause pain and loose teeth. Researchers reviewed 30 published studies of toothpaste containing triclosan and copolymer.
Their analysis of the combined data found a 22 percent reduction in plaque, a 22 percent reduction in gingivitis, a 48 percent reduction in bleeding gums, and a 5 percent reduction in tooth decay (cavities) compared to toothpaste with fluoride alone. However, they did not find significant evidence that triclosan/copolymer toothpaste reduced the incidence of periodontitis more than toothpaste without the combination. No adverse reactions to triclosan or the copolymer were reported.
The American Dental Association’s (ADA) Seal of Acceptance Program and Product Evaluations has independently reviewed data on the safety and effectiveness of triclosan/copolymer for reducing cavities, plaque and gingivitis. The council concluded that there were sufficient clinical studies that showed these kinds of toothpaste reduced the incidence of cavities and the presence of plaque and gingivitis.
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