In previous studies, toothpastes with high levels of sodium bicarbonate (>50%) have reduced gingival inflammation and oral malodour. This study compared the effects of brushing for 6 weeks with 67% (test group) or 0% (control group) sodium bicarbonate toothpaste on gingival health.
This was a single-centre, single examiner-blind, randomized, controlled, two-treatment, parallel-group study. Eligible subjects (≥18 years) had ≥20 gradable teeth, mild-to-moderate gingivitis, a positive response to bleeding on brushing and ≥20 bleeding sites.
The primary objective was to compare the number of bleeding sites following twice-daily use of 67% sodium bicarbonate toothpaste or 0% sodium bicarbonate toothpaste after 6 weeks. Secondary endpoints included Modified Gingival Index (MGI), Bleeding Index (BI) and volatile sulphur compounds (VSC), assessed after 6 weeks. Safety was assessed by treatment-emergent oral soft tissue abnormalities and adverse events.
Of 148 patients randomized (74 to each treatment), 66 (89.2%) completed the study in the test group, compared with 69 (93.2%) in the control group.
Compared with the control group, the test group had a significant reduction in the number of bleeding sites at Week 6 (absolute difference – 11.0 [−14.0, −8.0], P < 0.0001; relative difference – 25.4%), together with significant reductions in MGI and BI (both P < 0.0001). Although the median reductions from baseline for VSC were numerically greater in the test group, the difference did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.9701).
This 67% sodium bicarbonate toothpaste provided statistically significant improvements in gingival health and bleeding after 6 weeks of use.