The effect of a new toothpaste containing potassium nitrate and triclosan on gingival health, plaque formation and dentine hypersensitivity

J Clin Periodontol. 2005 Jan;32(1):53-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-051X.2004.00631.x.


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a new toothpaste containing an antiplaque and antiinflammatory agent (0.3% triclosan), a desensitizing agent (5% potassium nitrate) and an anticaries agent (0.76% sodium monofluorophosphate (SMFP)) on gingival health, plaque formation and dentine hypersensitivity in a 12-week home study. The efficacy of the test toothpaste was compared with that of a control toothpaste containing 5% potassium nitrate and 0.76% SMFP and a benchmark product containing only 0.76% SMFP.

Material and methods: One hundred and two healthy volunteers, who had a minimum of 20 natural permanent teeth with no probing depth >4 mm and at least one sensitive tooth, participated in this study. Following enrollment, the subjects received a dental prophylaxis and instruction in brushing technique. After a 4-week pre-experimental phase, baseline gingival bleeding index (GBI), plaque index (PI) and visual analogue scales (VASs) indicating dentine hypersensitivity levels responding to tactile and air stimuli were assessed. The subjects were then randomly given one of the three toothpastes; test, control, or benchmark toothpaste, and a soft-filamented toothbrush for home use. The GBI, PI and VASs were re-examined at weeks 4 and 12.

Results: Overall, the GBI scores were significantly reduced compared with baseline in all groups (p<0.01). However, there was no significant difference in GBI score among the three comparison groups. The PI score decreased in the test group and benchmark group from baseline to the end of study, whereas there was no significant change in the control group. Post hoc comparison indicated that the PI score was not statistically different between the three groups. There was a significant difference between the three treatment groups for sensitivity. For both the tactile and air stimuli, the reductions in VAS sensitivity scores for the test group and the control group were significantly greater compared with the benchmark group. Although the sensitivity score for air stimulus decreased more rapidly from baseline to week 4 in the test group, there was no overall difference between the test group and the control group.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated that the new toothpaste was effective in reducing dentine hypersensitivity. More studies are needed to further determine the potential interaction between triclosan and potassium nitrate in dentifrices.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Dental Plaque / prevention & control
  • Dentin / drug effects
  • Dentin Sensitivity / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Gingivitis / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nitrates / therapeutic use*
  • Potassium Compounds / therapeutic use*
  • Toothpastes / chemistry
  • Toothpastes / therapeutic use*
  • Triclosan / therapeutic use*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Nitrates
  • Potassium Compounds
  • Toothpastes
  • Triclosan
  • potassium nitrate