MadSci Network: Other

Re: Why is baking soda in toothpastes?

Date: Mon Oct 9 08:41:03 2000
Posted By: Shibbi, Undergraduate, medical, FJDC
Area of science: Other
ID: 969808212.Ot

hello rebecca , 
tooth paste companies are using baking soda as a component of tooth paste 
but it has no effect on bacteria nad germs etc, it is just just using for 
making more foam and it might reduce the bitterness of some chemicals ... 
but this can also be reduced by some chemicals and flavoring aagents. 
Bottom line is that baking soda used in the tooth paste has no effect on 
the bacteria and germs ... !!! i think that willl be enough for your level.
BEST OF LUCK for ur project :)

Mike Onken adds the following:

That's not entirely true.  There have been several scientific studies on
the effects of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) on dental caries
(cavities), all of which have demonstrated that raising the salivary pH
around the teeth can dramatically slow the growth of oral bacteria.  Here
is the abstract from one such study:

 Legier-Vargas K, Mundorff-Shrestha SA, Featherstone JD, Gwinner LM
"Effects of sodium bicarbonate dentifrices on the levels of cariogenic
bacteria in human saliva." Caries Res 29(2):143-7 (1995)

This investigation evaluated the efficacy of two bicarbonate-containing
dentifrices (one with fluoride and one without) against one placebo
dentifrice (containing neither fluoride nor bicarbonate) in vivo in a
panel of human volunteers to determine whether or not sodium bicarbonate
would affect salivary mutans streptococci and lactobacilli. Ten 
caries-inactive adults were divided randomly into three groups, each of
which was exposed to all three dentifrices, in a crossover manner, during
three 4-week test periods. Saliva samples were taken at 1-week intervals.
Samples were stored on ice, and microbiological analyses were conducted.
The statistical analyses showed that, over a 4-week period, there was a
statistically significant (p < 0.05) reduction in numbers of mutans
streptococci with the two bicarbonate dentifrices as compared with the
placebo dentifrice. Although not statistically significant, a similar
trend was observed with lactobacilli. Longer-term, large-scale studies
need to be conducted to investigate the possible mechanisms of action of
sodium bicarbonate on these organisms and to relate the results to
possible cariostatic effects in humans.

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