Fluoride Toothpaste Benefits
The addition of antibacterial compound triclosan, and a copolymer, which prevents it from being washed away with the saliva, can increase the effectiveness of fluoride toothpaste.
These ingredients reduce the risk of gum disease and the accumulation of plaque, and can also benefit tooth decay, a study published in The Cochrane Library has found.
Co-author of the study Philip Riley, a scientist at the University of Manchester, says that it is still unclear how important the effects are clinically. The research involved reviewing 30 published studies on toothpastes that contain triclosan and the copolymer, before analysing the findings. Of these studies, three were independent.
Analysis of the combined data revealed that the additives led to a 22% decrease in plaque, a 22% reduction in gingivitis, a 48% decrease in bleeding gums and a 5% decrease in tooth cavities compared to toothpastes that only contain fluoride.
At the same time, the presence of the triclosan/copolymer combination, did not seem to have any effect on the presence of periodontitis.
Tooth cavities and gum disease are the major factors for tooth loss and both are caused by the accumulation of plaque on the teeth. If left untreated, plaque can lead to periodontitis.
Clifford Whall from the American Dental Association (ADA) commented that the findings were not surprising, and complement a series of clinical studies that confirm the beneficial effects for common dental problems when triclosan and a copolymer are added to fluoride toothpastes.