New research reviewed by The Cochrane Library shows that daily use of fluoride toothpaste containing the antibacterial agent triclosan and a copolymer can reduce plaque, gingivitis, and bleeding gums. The copolymer helps to keep the triclosan from being washed out by saliva, making this type of toothpaste more effective at reducing tooth decay than similar fluoride toothpaste that doesn’t have these ingredients.
Philip Riley, co-author of the study and researcher at the University of Manchester, stated that “We are very confident that adding triclosan and copolymer to a fluoride toothpaste will lead to additional benefits, in terms of less plaque, inflammation, bleeding, and tooth decay.”
Dentists Research Triclosan Toothpaste
Researchers from the Cochrane Oral Health Group evaluated 30 published studies on various kinds of toothpaste containing copolymer and triclosan. The analysis showed that toothpaste containing these two ingredients considerably reduced plaque, gingivitis, bleeding gums, and tooth decay, as compared to toothpaste containing only fluoride.
However most of the studies evaluated by the Cochrane report had received either direct or indirect support by companies making toothpaste, with only three studies being completely independent. Riley expressed his concern that “We would argue for complete independent control of the research, including study design, conducting the study, and ownership of the data.”
Benefits of Triclosan and Copolymer in Toothpaste
The results of the study supported previous research done by the American Dental Association (ADA) that found sufficient evidence showing the safety and effectiveness of triclosan and copolymer in fluoride toothpaste. The ADA’s Council on Scientific Affairs stated that there is now sufficient data that toothpaste with these ingredients directly reduces the presence of gingivitis and plaque as well as the incidence of cavities.
Since the extensive research has shown that there are no apparent adverse health effects caused by these triclosan/copolymer fluoride toothpastes, there is no negative tradeoff for its benefits. Keep your eye out for this new type of toothpaste to be on the market soon.