Investigating the Effect ofTeeth Cleaning Agents on the Growth of Bacteria

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Investigating the Effect of Different Teeth Cleaning Agents on the Growth of Bacteria

On account of the price and variety of tooth cleaning agents available on the market, an investigation was conducted into the effect of different tooth cleaning agents containing different ingredients on the growth of teeth bacteria. The tooth cleaning agents tested were
Colgate total antibacterial toothpaste with Triclosan (3 pence/ml),
Boots non fluoride toothpaste (less than a penny/ml), Dental care baking soda toothpaste (2 pence/ml) and a twig from a natural toothbrush tree Salvadora persica commonly known as ‘Muswak’ (30 pence for two weeks supply, toothbrush not required as twig carries out the function of a toothbrush).

Gingivitis (inflammation to gingival tissue in the mouth) caused by excessive formation of plaque is not just a problem for children, it continues throughout life as long as natural teeth are in the mouth.
The three most common bacteria that cause dental disease are
Streptococcus mutans, Lactobacillus species, and Actinomyces species.

According to an article titled ‘super toothpaste’ by W. F Lee
(Prevention magazine, Dec 97, p67) it is said, ‘Make room fluoride. A new toothpaste is coming and it promises to strike the kind of blow to gingivitis that made fluoride famous for fighting cavities. The key ingredient Triclosan is a common antimicrobial agent already in wide use in products such as antibacterial soap. Scientists think Triclosan may reduce gingivitis by inhibiting the growth of plaque causing bacteria. In a major study submitted to the FDA, the new
Triclosan-fluoride paste (sold as Colgate total) performed significantly better than standard fluoride only toothpaste in helping to prevent plaque, tartar and gingivitis. This combination of
Triclosan and fluoride is the first toothpaste to earn the British
Dental Association seal of acceptance for fighting four dental problems at once- gingivitis, plaque, tooth decay and tartar.1c Non fluoride toothpastes are suitable for individuals who require a controlled level of fluoride. This would be especially relevant in cases whereby the tap water is heavily fluoridated or the individual is taking fluoride supplements. Baking soda toothpaste, also known as sodium bicarbonate paste kills bacteria that cause plaque and bad breath and acts as a mild abrasive. According to the Journal of
Clinical Denti...

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2c Kelly J (1997) "Brush up your act" Grocer Oct 4 1997 volume 220 Page no: 41

3c Meskin L.H (1997) " Much ado about nothing" Journal of the American dental association Oct 1997 volume 128 Page no: 1347

4c Blinkhorn A (1997) " Keeping faith in fluoride" Chemist and druggist
May 24 1997, Volume 247, Page no: 24

5c Author unknown (1997) "Getting the most of your medical dollar" Money matters August 1997 Volume 6, Issue 3 Page no: 3

6c Hattab F.N (1997) "Muswak: the natural toothbrush" Journal of Clinical
Dentistry Volume 8, NO 5 Page no: 125-129

Information from multimedia

1d Encarta encyclopaedia, 1995 Version


* Ms. E Haynes for provision of sterilised apparatus and teaching of microbiology module.

* The British Dental Association for provision of statistical details of consumer sales.

* Colgate Palmolive UK for details on Colgate total toothpaste.

* Science line for general information on types of toothpastes.

* Mr. Kayum, Sub Rung Centre, 131 Green Street (Forest gate), London
E7 8JF for information on Salvadora Persica ‘Muswak’

* Wellcome Science Museum, Euston Road, London for use of their library facilities.
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