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Comparative Study
, 17 (2), 99-116

The Efficacy of Baking Soda Dentifrice in Controlling Plaque and Gingivitis: A Systematic Review

Comparative Study

The Efficacy of Baking Soda Dentifrice in Controlling Plaque and Gingivitis: A Systematic Review

Cees Valkenburg et al. Int J Dent Hyg.


Objective: To test the efficacy of a dentifrice containing baking soda (BS), compared with dentifrice without BS for controlling plaque and gingivitis.

Materials and methods: MEDLINE-PubMed and Cochrane-CENTRAL were searched. The inclusion criteria were randomized controlled clinical trials including healthy participants aged 18 years or older. Studies were selected that compared the effect of toothbrushing with a dentifrice with and without BS on the clinical parameters of plaque and gingivitis. Data were extracted from the selected studies, and a meta-analysis was performed.

Results: The search retrieved 21 eligible publications. Among these papers, 43 comparisons were provided, with 23 involving a single-use design and 20 being evaluations with a follow-up. Negative controls were found, or positive controls for which various active ingredients had been used. The included studies showed a moderate overall potential risk of bias and considerable heterogeneity. The meta-analysis of plaque scores from the single-brushing experiments showed that BS dentifrice (BS-DF) was associated with significantly better outcomes than the negative control dentifrices (DiffM -0.20; P < 0.0001; 95% CI: [-0.27; -0.12]) or the positive control dentifrices (DiffM -0.18; P < 0.0001; 95% CI: [-0.24; -0.12]). This finding was only confirmed in studies that used a follow-up design as compared to a negative control (DiffM -0.19; P = 0.01; 95% CI: [-0.34; -0.04]). The indices of gingival bleeding also improved when the comparison was a negative control (DiffM -0.08; P = 0.02; 95% CI: [-0.16; -0.01] and (DiffM -0.13; P < 0.001; 95% CI: [-0.18; -0.08]. However, for the gingival index scores, the meta-analysis did not reveal any significant differences.

Conclusion: BS-DF showed promising results with respect to plaque removal in single-use studies. However, the finding was partially substantiated in follow-up studies. Studies that assessed bleeding scores indicated that a small reduction can be expected from BS, relative to a control product.

Keywords: baking soda; bleeding; dentifrice; gingivitis; plaque; sodium bicarbonate; systematic review; toothpaste.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest. Van der Weijden, Slot and their research team at ACTA have previously received either external advisor fees, lecturer fees or research grants from toothbrush and dentifrice manufacturers. Those manufacturers included: Colgate, Dentaid, GABA, GSK, Lactona, Oral‐B, Procter & Gamble, Sara Lee, Sunstar and Unilever. Ethical approval was not required.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Search and selection results

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