Comparison of the effect of toothpastes containing enzymes or antimicrobial compounds with a conventional fluoride toothpaste on the development of plaque and gingivitis

J Clin Periodontol. 1989 May;16(5):295-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-051x.1989.tb01658.x.


Many toothpastes have been formulated over recent years to contain antimicrobial compounds with the aim of preventing or reducing plaque, calculus, gingival inflammation or dental caries. For many, if not all of these toothpastes, it has yet to be proven whether they are significantly better at reducing plaque and gingivitis than conventional toothpastes, for which no such therapeutic effects have been claimed. This 12-day, incomplete block designed, cross-over study compared the development of plaque and gingivitis following rinsing with toothpaste slurries containing the following active ingredients: (1) hexetidine/zinc citrate, (2) 0.2% triclosan, (3) amyloglucosidase/glucose oxidase, (4) sodium fluoride/sodium monofluorophosphate (NaF, MFP). By the 8th day of the study, a significant difference in gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) and GI was found between the groups. By day 12, however, no significant difference in plaque index and gingival inflammation was found between the 4 toothpastes, although plaque area was significantly reduced with the hexetidine/zinc citrate paste when compared to the conventional fluoride paste. It was concluded that the active ingredients added to the toothpastes evaluated in this study provided little or no more additional benefit to oral hygiene and gingival health than could be achieved with a conventional fluoride toothpaste.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dental Plaque / prevention & control*
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Dentifrices*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Fluorides / therapeutic use*
  • Gingival Crevicular Fluid
  • Gingival Hemorrhage / prevention & control
  • Gingivitis / prevention & control*
  • Glucan 1,4-alpha-Glucosidase / therapeutic use*
  • Glucose Oxidase / therapeutic use*
  • Hexetidine / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Periodontal Index
  • Phenyl Ethers / therapeutic use*
  • Random Allocation
  • Toothpastes*
  • Triclosan / therapeutic use*


  • Dentifrices
  • Phenyl Ethers
  • Toothpastes
  • Triclosan
  • Hexetidine
  • Glucose Oxidase
  • Glucan 1,4-alpha-Glucosidase
  • Fluorides