Randomized Trial of Plaque-Identifying Toothpaste: Decreasing Plaque and Inflammation

Published:October 19, 2016DOI:



      Randomized data are sparse about whether a plaque-identifying toothpaste reduces dental plaque and nonexistent for inflammation. Inflammation is intimately involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and is accurately measured by high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), a sensitive marker for cardiovascular disease. The hypotheses that Plaque HD (TJA Health LLC, Joliet, Ill), a plaque-identifying toothpaste, produces statistically significant reductions in dental plaque and hs-CRP were tested in this randomized trial.


      Sixty-one apparently healthy subjects aged 19 to 44 years were assigned at random to this plaque-identifying (n = 31) or placebo toothpaste (n = 30) for 60 days. Changes from baseline to follow-up in dental plaque and hs-CRP were assessed.


      In an intention-to-treat analysis, the plaque-identifying toothpaste reduced mean plaque score by 49%, compared with a 24% reduction in placebo (P = .001). In a prespecified subgroup analysis of 38 subjects with baseline levels >0.5 mg/L, the plaque-identifying toothpaste reduced hs-CRP by 29%, compared with a 25% increase in placebo toothpaste (P = .041).


      This plaque-identifying toothpaste produced statistically significant reductions in dental plaque and hs-CRP. The observed reduction in dental plaque confirms and extends a previous observation. The observed reduction in inflammation supports the hypothesis of a reduction in risks of cardiovascular disease. The direct test of this hypothesis requires a large-scale randomized trial of sufficient size and duration designed a priori to do so. Such a finding would have major clinical and public health implications.


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      Linked Article

      • Can a Toothpaste Reduce Heart Attacks and Strokes?
        The American Journal of MedicineVol. 130Issue 6
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          My father was a busy and successful dentist in New Haven, Connecticut. One of my earliest memories is of sitting in one of his dental chairs and having my teeth inspected and cleaned. Many years later when I was about to start medical school, my father told me that in his practice, patients with poor dental condition and poor mouth hygiene frequently had other serious medical conditions. Clearly, it appears that my father's comment was prescient!1-7 A recent review revealed 468 articles published since 1991 involving the relationship between poor dental hygiene, such as periodontitis or missing teeth, and the presence of atherosclerosis often in the form of ischemic heart disease.
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