Give dirty mouths a brush

Apr 13, 2010

The human mouth is home to an estimated 800 to 1,000 different kinds of bacteria. The warm and moist environment, along with hard tooth surfaces and soft tissues, prove to be optimal factors in boosting germ growth. Many of these bacteria are harmful and can form a film on teeth called "dental plaque," which causes cavities, gingivitis and eventually more severe kinds of gum disease.

Toothpaste that contains triclosan/copolymer is better than regular fluoride toothpastes at killing the kinds of bacteria that live in people's mouths, according to a study published in the January/February 2010 issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).

"Manufacturers add specific agents to toothpastes to provide added benefits to consumers," said Joseph J. Zambon, DDS, PhD, one of the study's authors and a distinguished teaching professor at the University at Buffalo School of . "The best known agent is fluoride, which was added to toothpaste to prevent cavities. Triclosan added to toothpaste has been shown in a number of clinical studies to inhibit plaque and gingivitis. The copolymer helps to keep triclosan in your mouth for a longer period of time, which boosts its ability to inhibit ."

The triclosan/copolymer toothpaste and two fluoride toothpastes were tested on several different kinds of lab-grown bacteria that mimic germs found in the mouth. The tests were also done on bacteria taken from the mouths of human volunteers.

"Repetitive testing shows that with triclosan/copolymer outperformed the fluoride-only toothpastes when it came to inhibiting the growth of ," Dr. Zambon said.

Along with brushing teeth twice a day, the AGD recommends the daily use of floss and a mouth rinse to reduce and kill germs in the mouth.

"The importance of killing germs is that if you can keep your mouth relatively clean, you can minimize the likelihood of cavities and , as well as the unpleasantness of bad breath," said Paul Bussman, DMD, FAGD, spokesperson for the AGD.

Explore further: Gun deaths twice as high among African-Americans as white citizens in US

More information: To learn more about good oral hygiene and health, visit www.KnowYourTeeth.com

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Studies advise on fluoridated toothpaste use in children

Jan 20, 2010

Parents should use toothpastes that contain fluoride with a minimum concentration of 1,000 parts per million to prevent tooth decay in their children, says a new report. Preventing tooth decay can help reduce the need for ...

Floss your teeth -- on the double!

Aug 06, 2008

In dental offices all over the world, patients are often told they are not flossing enough or instructed to floss more. As the old saying goes, you only need to floss the teeth you want to keep. After all, not flossing regularly ...

Recommended for you

Health law enrollment now 7.3M

8 hours ago

The Obama administration says 7.3 million people have signed up for subsidized private health insurance under the health care law—down from 8 million reported earlier this year.

Bill Gates says progress made on new super-thin condom

9 hours ago

Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates said Thursday progress is being made on developing a "next-generation" ultra-thin, skin-like condom that could offer better sexual pleasure, help population control and ...

User comments : 0