A comparison of intraoral antimicrobial effects of stabilized stannous fluoride dentifrice, baking soda/peroxide dentifrice, conventional NaF dentifrice and essential oil mouthrinse

J Clin Dent. 1997;8(2 Spec No):54-61.


The intraoral antimicrobial activity of four commercial oral products-conventional NaF dentifrice (Crest), baking soda/peroxide/NaF dentifrice (Mentadent), essential oil mouthrinse (Listerine) and SnF2 dentifrice (Crest Plus Gum Care)-have been compared in three test regimens. Formulations were compared for their ability to suppress the regrowth and apical extension of dental plaque following toothbrushing during thirty hours of non-brushing where products were used as oral rinses (30-hour plaque regrowth model). Formulations were also compared for their ability to suppress the colony-forming units (cfu) of facultative anaerobic bacteria sampled from buccal gingival surfaces following use (Gingival Surface Microbial Index-GSMI model). Lastly, formulations were compared for effects in suppressing the glycolytic metabolic activity and regrowth activity of in vivo-treated dental plaques sampled at various periods following topical use and incubated under controlled ex vivo conditions (Plaque Glycolysis and Regrowth-PGRM model). In thirty-hour plaque regrowth testing, the rank ordered antimicrobial efficacy of formulations followed SnF2 > essential oils > NaF = water = baking soda/peroxide. In GSMI testing, all formulations were shown to suppress the cfu of facultative anaerobic bacteria relative to baseline, although SnF2 treatment was observed to reduce bacterial levels to a significantly greater degree than NaF dentifrice or baking soda/peroxide dentifrice up to two hours following brushing. In PGRM testing, the SnF2 dentifrice provided significant inhibition of bacterial metabolism and regrowth following topical application when compared with the NaF dentifrice as control. The baking soda/peroxide dentifrice provided no reduction in either bacterial metabolism or regrowth in PGRM. Previous studies had demonstrated modest effects for essential oil rinse in reducing PGRM plaque regrowth, with no effects for this treatment on plaque metabolism. Overall, these results demonstrate that SnF2 dentifrice provides substantial intraoral antimicrobial effects. The essential oil mouthrinse also exhibits significant intraoral antimicrobial effects, albeit apparently less than SnF2 dentifrice. The baking soda/peroxide dentifrice did not produce any antimicrobial effects following in vivo use compared with conventional dentifrice. These results provide mechanistic rationale for the chemotherapeutic efficacy of SnF2 and essential oil formulations in reducing gingivitis, while providing no support for the expectation of clinical efficacy for formulations containing baking soda and peroxide.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Bacteria, Anaerobic / drug effects*
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dental Plaque / microbiology
  • Dental Plaque / prevention & control*
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Dentifrices / chemistry
  • Dentifrices / pharmacology*
  • Dentifrices / therapeutic use
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Mouthwashes / chemistry
  • Mouthwashes / pharmacology*
  • Mouthwashes / therapeutic use
  • Salicylates / pharmacology
  • Sodium Bicarbonate / pharmacology
  • Sodium Fluoride / pharmacology
  • Terpenes / pharmacology
  • Tin Fluorides / pharmacology


  • Dentifrices
  • Drug Combinations
  • Mentadent Dentifrice
  • Mouthwashes
  • Salicylates
  • Terpenes
  • Tin Fluorides
  • Listerine
  • Sodium Bicarbonate
  • Sodium Fluoride
  • Hydrogen Peroxide