440 Triclosan/copolymer toothpastes beneficial for oral health

October 28, 2014

written by Brian R McAvoy

Clinical question
How effective are triclosan/copolymer-containing fluoride toothpastes, compared with fluoride toothpastes, for the long-term control of caries, plaque and gingivitis in children and adults?

Bottom line

Compared with fluoride toothpastes, triclosan/copolymer-containing fluoride toothpastes produced a 22% reduction in plaque, a 22% reduction in gingivitis, a 48% reduction in bleeding gums and a 5% reduction in tooth decay. There was insufficient evidence to show a difference between either toothpaste in preventing periodontitis. There was no evidence of any harmful effects associated with the use of triclosan/copolymer toothpastes in studies up to 3 years in length.

The evidence relating to plaque and gingivitis was considered to be of moderate quality. The evidence on tooth decay was high quality, while the evidence on periodontitis was low quality. The toothpaste used in most of the studies was manufactured by Colgate.

Periodontal disease and dental caries are highly prevalent oral diseases that can lead to pain and discomfort, oral hygiene and aesthetic problems, and eventually tooth loss. Triclosan is an antibacterial agent with low toxicity, which, along with a copolymer for aiding retention, can be added to toothpastes to reduce plaque and gingivitis.

Cochrane Systematic Review

Riley P and Lamont T. Triclosan/copolymer containing toothpastes for oral health. Cochrane Reviews, 2013, Issue 12. Art. No.: CD010514.DOI: 10.1002/14651858. CD010514.pub2. This review contains 30 studies involving 14,835 participants.

Pearls are an independent product of the Cochrane primary care group and are meant for educational use and not to guide clinical care.