Investigating The Effect Of Teeth Cleaning Agents On The Growth Of Bacteria

1941 words - 8 pages

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 Dentistry in an article by Hattab F.N of Jordan University of
Science and Technology, ‘The use of a wood stick for brushing teeth
continues to be an important tool for oral hygiene care in many
Afro-Asian communities. It is inexpensive, customary and used for
religious reasons as well.’ Additionally, Abu Hanifa mentions the use
of muswak as being best for brushing teeth, for it makes speech more
eloquent, frees the tongue, relieves the weakness that comes from
disease, stimulates the appetite and clears the brain.5b

As seen from above, the main visible active microbial agent in the

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