A randomized controlled trial evaluating the efficacy of a 67% sodium bicarbonate toothpaste on gingivitis

Int J Dent Hyg. 2017 Nov;15(4):e35-e41. doi: 10.1111/idh.12229. Epub 2016 May 22.


Introduction: In previous studies, toothpastes with high levels of sodium bicarbonate (>50%) have reduced gingival inflammation and oral malodour. This study compared the effects of brushing for 6 weeks with 67% (test group) or 0% (control group) sodium bicarbonate toothpaste on gingival health.

Methods: This was a single-centre, single examiner-blind, randomized, controlled, two-treatment, parallel-group study. Eligible subjects (≥18 years) had ≥20 gradable teeth, mild-to-moderate gingivitis, a positive response to bleeding on brushing and ≥20 bleeding sites. The primary objective was to compare the number of bleeding sites following twice-daily use of 67% sodium bicarbonate toothpaste or 0% sodium bicarbonate toothpaste after 6 weeks. Secondary endpoints included Modified Gingival Index (MGI), Bleeding Index (BI) and volatile sulphur compounds (VSC), assessed after 6 weeks. Safety was assessed by treatment-emergent oral soft tissue abnormalities and adverse events.

Results: Of 148 patients randomized (74 to each treatment), 66 (89.2%) completed the study in the test group, compared with 69 (93.2%) in the control group. Compared with the control group, the test group had a significant reduction in the number of bleeding sites at Week 6 (absolute difference - 11.0 [-14.0, -8.0], P < 0.0001; relative difference - 25.4%), together with significant reductions in MGI and BI (both P < 0.0001). Although the median reductions from baseline for VSC were numerically greater in the test group, the difference did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.9701).

Conclusions: This 67% sodium bicarbonate toothpaste provided statistically significant improvements in gingival health and bleeding after 6 weeks of use.

Keywords: dentifrice; gingivitis; sodium bicarbonate; toothpaste; volatile sulphur compounds.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Gingivitis / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Sodium Bicarbonate / therapeutic use*
  • Toothbrushing*
  • Toothpastes / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Toothpastes
  • Sodium Bicarbonate