The antimicrobial efficacy of commercial dentifrices

Gen Dent. Jan-Feb 2010;58(1):50-5; quiz 56-7, 79-80.


This investigation compared the effects of a fluoride dentifrice and toothpastes formulated with antimicrobial ingredients (stannous fluoride and triclosan/copolymer) on oral micro-organisms, including those found in samples taken from the human oral cavity. Microbiological techniques determined the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of each dentifrice necessary to inhibit the growth of bacterial strains from the healthy oral cavity, as well as those found in dental caries, periodontal disease, and halitosis. Ex vivo studies utilized oral rinse samples and supragingival plaque from adults to determine antimicrobial effects on the entire microbial diversity of these samples, including biofilm-derived micro-organisms. The triclosan/copolymer dentifrice demonstrated the lowest MICs and significantly inhibited Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria (including the periodontal pathogens Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Eikenella corrodens, and Fusobacterium nucleatum). In the ex vivo tests, the triclosan/copolymer dentifrice demonstrated substantial inhibition in the oral rinse samples over each treatment period (p > 0.0005) as compared to either the fluoride or stannous fluoride dentifrices. Similarly, the triclosan/copolymer dentifrice demonstrated the highest inhibition of micro-organisms in the supragingival plaque biofilm (p < 0.0005). No significant differences were observed between the fluoride and stannous fluoride dentifrices (p > 0.5).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Actinomyces / drug effects
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans / drug effects
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / pharmacology
  • Campylobacter rectus / drug effects
  • Capnocytophaga / drug effects
  • Cariostatic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Dental Plaque / microbiology
  • Dentifrices / pharmacology*
  • Eikenella corrodens / drug effects
  • Fluorides / pharmacology*
  • Fusobacterium nucleatum / drug effects
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / drug effects
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Materials Testing
  • Middle Aged
  • Sodium Fluoride / pharmacology
  • Time Factors
  • Tin Fluorides / pharmacology
  • Toothpastes / pharmacology*
  • Triclosan / pharmacology
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Cariostatic Agents
  • Dentifrices
  • Tin Fluorides
  • Toothpastes
  • Triclosan
  • Sodium Fluoride
  • Fluorides