A microbiological and clinical study of the safety and efficacy of baking-soda dentifrices

Compend Contin Educ Dent Suppl. 1997;18(21):S39-44; quiz S47.


This article reports the results of a study that examined the clinical and microbiological changes associated with regular use of baking-soda dentifrices. Two dentifrice formulations were examined in a 6-month longitudinal study of 101 adult subjects with assessments for plaque, gingival inflammation, and stain at baseline and 3 and 6 months during the active phase of the study, and at 3 months after cessation of product use. One dentifrice contained 52% baking soda and 3% sodium percarbonate (Arm & Hammer PeroxiCare) while the other dentifrice contained 65% baking soda (Arm & Hammer Dental Care). Both dentifrices resulted in statistically significant reductions in dental plaque, gingival inflammation, and stain at all time periods compared to baseline. Dental plaque and buccal soft-tissue samples were obtained for microbiological analysis from a 50-subject subset. Microbiological assays, including bacterial culture, phase-contrast microscopy, and immunofluorescence microscopy, confirmed the safety of both formulations. Beneficial alterations in dental plaque bacteria were noted, including significant reductions in the levels of Actinomyces species. The data from this study indicate that dentifrices containing high levels of baking soda are clinically effective and microbiologically safe.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bacteria / drug effects
  • Carbonates / pharmacology
  • Carbonates / therapeutic use
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Consumer Product Safety
  • Dental Plaque / drug therapy
  • Dental Plaque / microbiology
  • Dentifrices / pharmacology
  • Dentifrices / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Combinations
  • Ecosystem
  • Female
  • Gingivitis / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Middle Aged
  • Sodium Bicarbonate / pharmacology
  • Sodium Bicarbonate / therapeutic use*
  • Tooth Discoloration / drug therapy
  • Toothpastes


  • Carbonates
  • Dentifrices
  • Drug Combinations
  • Toothpastes
  • sodium bicarbonate-based toothpaste
  • Sodium Bicarbonate
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • sodium percarbonate