Know Your Toothpaste

Know your toothpaste

Toothpaste is an essential part of our daily oral hygiene routine, which helps remove dental plaque and maintain the health of teeth and gums. Dental Plaque is a sticky, colourless or pale-yellow film constantly forming around the tooth surface and builds up on teeth and gums, especially the gum margin. Accumulating dental plaque can cause dental caries or tooth decay, gingivitis/ inflammation of gums, and periodontitis/ involvement of gums and the underlying bone.

Toothpaste is a paste/gel dentifrice that cleans teeth and gums. Daily use of toothpaste along with a toothbrush and dental floss is one of the most effective ways to prevent the development of dental diseases as it successfully controls dental plaque production.

Regardless of the brand of toothpaste, certain ingredients are present in almost all kinds of toothpaste, such as abrasives, binders, humectants, pharmaceutical agents, solvent, foaming agents, flavouring agents, sweeteners, colouring agents, and preservatives.

  1. Abrasives: -They help remove debris and surface stains, thus cleaning and polishing teeth. The most commonly used abrasives are calcium carbonate, phosphate salts, silica, aluminum hydroxide, and magnesium carbonate.
  2. Humectants: – They help maintain the moisture in the paste, thus preventing its drying or hardening inside the tube or when exposed to air. Compounds used for this purpose are glycerol, sorbitol, propylene glycol, and polyethylene glycol.

3. Pharmaceutical agents

Anti-Caries Agents

  • Fluoride is a naturally occurring cavity fighter that aids in the strengthening of tooth enamel and the prevention of tooth decay. Sodium fluoride (NaF), Monofluorophosphate (MFP) and stannous fluoride (SMF) are used. The fluoride content of toothpaste is typically 0.10-0.15 per cent.
  • Xylitol is unique sugar that cannot be fermented by oral bacteria, thus acting as a cariostatic agent.

Anti- Plaque Agents

  • Triclosan is effective against both Gram-positive and most Gram-negative bacteria. It also works against mycobacterium and strictly anaerobic bacteria and the spores and fungi of the Candida species.
  • The most commonly employed metal ions in dental toothpaste preparations are zinc (Zn2+) and stannous (Sn2+). These metals can suppress plaque formation and limit bacterial growth.

Anti-Calculus Agents

  • Pyrophosphate, which has a greater affinity to hydroxyapatite surfaces, has been added to toothpaste to prevent the formation of supragingival dental calculus. Pyrophosphate is added as tetrasodium pyrophosphatetetrapotassium pyrophosphate or disodium pyrophosphate.

Desensitizing Agents

  • Compounds such as strontium chloride or potassium nitrate reduce pain in sensitive teeth by blocking the transmission of sensation from the tooth surface to the nerve.

4. Solvents

Water is the most common solvent used to dissolve and mix the ingredients altogether.

5. Binders

They prevent the separation of powder and liquid ingredients and help achieve the stability and consistency of the paste. They are also known as thickening agents and help in ease of dispersion as well. The commonly used binder is carboxymethylcellulose. Other binders include alginatescolloidal silicaxanthan gum, and sodium magnesium silicate.

6. Foaming agents

The purpose of foaming ingredients is to disseminate toothpaste throughout the mouth cavity to improve the cleaning effect and, by acting as a surfactant, clean away the dirt. Sodium lauryl sulphate is the most commonly utilized at the moment.

7. Flavouring agents

Leave a pleasant and fresh taste in the mouth like peppermint oil, spearmint oil etc.

8. Sweeteners

Sweeteners also improve the taste of toothpaste. The most commonly used sweeteners are saccharin, sorbitol, and glycerol.

9. Colouring agents

Titanium dioxide is often added to toothpaste to give them a white colour.

10. Preservatives

Preservatives prevent the growth of micro-organisms in toothpaste tubes, increasing their shelf life. Primarily, they include sodium benzoate, methylparaben, and ethylparaben. Thus, various toothpaste available on the market has compounds that combat dental caries, gum disease, malodor, calculus, and dentin hypersensitivity effectively. Being informed about the role of each ingredient helps the consumer make an informed decision when buying over-the-counter toothpaste.

Also ReadExtra Teeth in Your Oral Cavity

Also ReadHolistic Digitalisation of Dentistry

The Faculty of Dental Sciences, SGT University, Gurugram, started as SGT Dental College Hospital & Research Institute in 2002 and is now among the best dental colleges in Delhi NCR. The faculty has nine departments, which have highly experienced and energetic faculty members with ethical and scientific mindsets to carry forward the science of Dentistry, focusing on research & innovation in Dentistry and Applied Sciences.

Written By:-
Dr. Neha Saksena
Department of Periodontology
Faculty of Dental Sciences
SGT University

Tag:importance of toothpasteknow your toothpastetoothpaste

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