The anti-caries efficacy of calcium carbonate-based fluoride toothpastes

Int Dent J. 2005;55(3 Suppl 1):175-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1875-595x.2005.tb00055.x.


Aim: To summarise clinical support for the anti-caries efficacy of fluoride toothpastes containing sodium monofluorophosphate (SMFP) and to discuss the possible means by which the abrasive particles in calcium carbonate-based SMFP toothpastes might complement and/or enhance fluoride efficacy.

Background: The anti-caries efficacy of fluoride has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt, and the efficacy of SMFP, when incorporated into a variety of compatible toothpaste formulations, has been established in numerous clinical trials. Calcium carbonate-based toothpastes may also influence caries by effecting an increase in plaque calcium levels; an inverse relationship between plaque calcium and caries is well-established. It has also been reported that plaque fluoride levels are dependent on plaque calcium levels. Hence elevated plaque calcium resulting from the use of calcium carbonate-based toothpastes has the potential to elevate plaque fluoride, itself linked to reduced caries experience. It has been shown that calcium carbonate particles are retained by plaque and this may also influence caries by neutralising harmful plaque acids and concurrently liberating calcium.

Conclusion: Fluoride delivered from calcium carbonate-based SMFP toothpastes is an effective means of reducing caries. Further, calcium carbonate may confer additional benefits through elevation of oral calcium levels and neutralisation of plaque-acids.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Calcium Carbonate / therapeutic use*
  • Cariostatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Dental Caries / prevention & control
  • Dental Plaque / chemistry
  • Drug Synergism
  • Fluorides / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Phosphates / therapeutic use*
  • Toothpastes / therapeutic use*


  • Cariostatic Agents
  • Phosphates
  • Toothpastes
  • fluorophosphate
  • Calcium Carbonate
  • Fluorides