Plaque control and reduction of gingivitis: The evidence for dentifrices

Periodontol 2000. 2019 Feb;79(1):221-232. doi: 10.1111/prd.12257.


This paper focuses on plaque control and the management of gingivitis in adults and summarizes the evidence of commercially available dentifrices as gathered from existing systematic reviews. Three internet sources were used to search for appropriate papers (up to and including February 2017). The search strategy was designed to include any systematic review published on dentifrices that also included an evaluation of plaque and gingivitis scores. Characteristics of the individual reviews, such as methodological aspects, quantitative data and conclusions, were extracted. The potential risk of bias was estimated and the acquired evidence was graded. Independent screening of 205 unique reviews resulted in 10 published and eligible systematic reviews. One publication evaluated the mechanical contribution of dentifrice to plaque removal. Eight papers were identified that evaluated the efficacy of a proposed single active ingredients, of which two reviewed more than one potentially active ingredient. One study compared two active ingredients. This meta-review appraised the current state of evidence and found that toothbrushing with a standard fluoride dentifrice does not provide an added effect for the mechanical removal of dental plaque. Evidence suggests that compared with a standard dentifrice, those containing triclosan or stannous fluoride have benefits with respect to gingival health and control of dental plaque.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Dental Plaque*
  • Dentifrices*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Gingivitis*
  • Humans
  • Periodontal Index


  • Dentifrices