Chemical vs. natural toothpaste: which formulas for which properties? A scoping review


  • Aida Kanouté Public Health Service, Institute of Dentistry and Stomatology, Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy and Dentistry, Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar
  • Serigne Ndame Dieng Public Health Service, Institute of Dentistry and Stomatology, Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy and Dentistry, Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar
  • Mbathio Diop Public Health Service, Institute of Dentistry and Stomatology, Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy and Dentistry, Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar
  • Amadou Dieng Public Health Service, Institute of Dentistry and Stomatology, Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy and Dentistry, Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar
  • Ayotollah Khoumeyni Sene Oral service District of Kaffrine Ministry of Health and Social Action, Dakar
  • Massamba Diouf Public Health Service, Institute of Dentistry and Stomatology, Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy and Dentistry, Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar
  • Cheikh Mbacké Lo Public Health Service, Institute of Dentistry and Stomatology, Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy and Dentistry, Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar
  • Daouda Faye Public Health Service, Institute of Dentistry and Stomatology, Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy and Dentistry, Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar
  • Florence Carrouel Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Aïda Kanouté Public Health Service Institute of Dentistry and Stomatology, Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy and Dentistry Cheikh Anta Diop, Laboratory Systemic Health Pathway, UR University of Lyon 1



Adults, Properties, Toothpaste, Formulas


Introduction. The proliferation of the oral care industry has made it more challenging for shoppers to zero in on the best possible toothpaste for their preventative requirements. It also makes the toothpaste’s various components safer. Objective. The researchers set out to evaluate the state of information about the biological properties and cytotoxicity of adult toothpaste so that they might make some informed recommendations.
Methods. A scoping review of research published between 2015 and 2020 according to PRISMA guidelines was performed.
Results. In vitro clinical trials account for 44% of the papers, in vivo clinical trials for 25%, systematic reviews for 19%, and metaanalyses for 12%. They have active chemical components that have been shown to be antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, or desensitizing. Herbal toothpaste has these characteristics and is very secure to use. Toothpaste with sodium lauryl sulfate has been found to be harmful.
Conclusions. Scientists have investigated the biological effects of a wide range of chemically active compounds and plant extracts. Herbal toothpaste, it has been discovered, is both efficient and secure. Companies making toothpaste should be required to clearly label the product’s qualities, active ingredients, and potentially harmful ingredients on the packaging.

Download data is not yet available.


Mota-Veloso I, Soares MEC, Alencar BM et al. Impact of untreated dental caries and its clinical consequences on the oral health-related quality of life of schoolchildren aged 8-10 years. Qual Life Res Int J Qual Life Asp Treat Care Rehabil. 2016;25(1):193‑9. DOI:

Bernabe E, Marcenes W, Hernandez CR et al. Global, Regional, and National Levels and Trends in Burden of Oral Conditions from 1990 to 2017: A Systematic Analysis for the Global Burden of Disease 2017 Study. J Dent Res [Internet]. 2020;99(4):362‑73.

Kazeminia M, Abdi A, Shohaimi S et al. Dental caries in primary and permanent teeth in children’s worldwide, 1995 to 2019: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Head Face Med [Internet]. 2020;16(1):22. DOI:

Lobo PLD, de Carvalho CBM, Fonseca SGCet al. Sodium fluoride and chlorhexidine effect in the inhibition of mutans streptococci in children with dental caries: a randomized, double-blind clinical trial. Oral Microbiol Immunol.2008;23(6):486‑91. DOI:

Mann J, Bernstein Y, Findler M. Periodontal disease and its prevention, by traditional and new avenues. Exp Ther Med. 2020;19(2):1504-1506. DOI:

Janakiram C, Venkitachalam R, Fontelo P, Iafolla TJ, Dye BA. Effectiveness of herbal oral care products in reducing dental plaque & gingivitis - a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Complement Med Ther. 2020;20(1):43. DOI:

Tatikonda A, Debnath S, Chauhan VS et al. Effects of herbal and non-herbal toothpastes on plaque and gingivitis: A clinical comparative study. J Int Soc Prev Community Dent [Internet]. 2014;4(Suppl 2):S126. DOI:

Efstratiou M, Papaioannou W, Nakou M et al. Contamination of a toothbrush with antibacterial properties by oral microorganisms. J Dent.2007;35(4):331‑7. DOI:

Pannuti CM, Mattos JP, Ranoya PN et al. Clinical effect of a herbal dentifrice on the control of plaque and gingivitis: a double-blind study. Pesqui Odontol Bras. 2003;17(4):314-8 DOI:

Rajendiran M, Trivedi HM, Chen D, Gajendrareddy P, Chen L. Recent Development of Active Ingredients in Mouthwashes and Toothpastes for Periodontal Diseases. Molecules. 2021;26(7):2001. DOI:

Valkenburg C, Else Slot D, Van der Weijden GF. What is the effect of active ingredients in dentifrice on inhibiting the regrowth of overnight plaque? A systematic review. Int J Dent Hyg. 2020;18(2):128-141. DOI:

Brevet A. L’histoire du dentifrice : de ses débuts à nos jours. [Th. Chirurgie dentaire]: Université de Bordeaux, France: 2017.

Lauten JD, Boyd L, Hanson MB et al. A clinical study: Melaleuca, Manuka, Calendula and green tea mouth rinse. Phytother Res PTR. 2005;19(11):951‑7. DOI:

Mishra, R.; Tandon, S.; Rathore, M.; Banerjee, M. Antimicrobial Efficacy of Probiotic and Herbal Oral Rinses against Candida albicans in Children: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Int. J. Clin. Pediatr. Dent. 2016;9:25–30 DOI:

Smith, C. Pasting the competition. AGD Impact. 1996;24:16.

Shanmugapriya R, Arunmozhi U, Kadhiresan R, Sabitha S, Anirudhya R, Sujatha G. Comparison of antiplaque effectiveness of herbal toothpaste: A randomized triple-blinded cross-over clinical trial. Ayu. 2019;40(2):109-113. DOI:

Saliasi I, Llodra JC, Bravo M, Tramini P, Dussart C, Viennot S, Carrouel F. Effect of a Toothpaste/Mouthwash Containing Carica papaya Leaf Extract on Interdental Gingival Bleeding: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018;15(12):2660. DOI:

Abhishek KN, Supreetha S, Sam G, Khan SN, Chaithanya KH, Abdul N. Effect of Neem containing Toothpaste on Plaque and Gingivitis--A Randomized Double Blind Clinical Trial. J Contemp Dent Pract. 2015;16(11):880-3. DOI:

de Oliveira SM, Torres TC, Pereira SL, Mota OM, Carlos MX. Effect of a dentifrice containing Aloe vera on plaque and gingivitis control. A double-blind clinical study in humans. J Appl Oral Sci. 2008;16(4):293-6

Pradeep AR, Agarwal E, Naik SB. Clinical and microbiologic effects of commercially available dentifrice containing aloe vera: a randomized controlled clinical trial. J Periodontol. 2012;83(6):797-804. DOI:

Estafan D, Gultz J, Kaim JM, Khaghany K, Scherer W. Clinical efficacy of an herbal toothpaste. J Clin Dent. 1998;9(2):31-3.

Bernard, A.; Dornic, N.; Roudot, A.; Ficheux, A. Probabilistic exposure assessment to face and oral care cosmetic products by the French population. Food Chem. Toxicol. 2018;111:511–524. DOI:

Bourgeois, D.; Weiler, D.; Carrouel, F. Oral Microbiota, Intestinal Microbiota and Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. Res. Rev. Biosci. 2017;12:136.

Rompelberg, C.; Heringa, M.B.; van Donkersgoed, G.; Drijvers, J.; Roos, A.; Westenbrink, S.; Peters, R.; van Bemmel, G.; Brand, W.; Oomen, A.G. Oral intake of added titanium dioxide and its nanofraction from food products, food supplements and toothpaste by the Dutch population. Nanotoxicology. 2016;10 :1404–14. DOI:

Forte, M.; Mita, L.; Cobellis, L.; Merafina, V.; Specchio, R.; Rossi, S.; Mita, D.G.; Mosca, L.; Castaldi, M.A.; De Falco, M.; et al. Triclosan and bisphenol a affect decidualization of human endometrial stromal cells. Mol. Cell. Endocrinol. 2016;422:74–83. DOI:

Heringa, M.B.; Geraets, L.; van Eijkeren, J.C.; Vandebriel, R.J.; de Jong, W.H.; Oomen, A.G. Risk assessment of titanium dioxide nanoparticles via oral exposure, including toxicokinetic considerations. Nanotoxicology 2016;10:1515–25. DOI:

Karpuzoglu, E.; Holladay, S.D.; Gogal, R.M., Jr. Parabens: Potential impact of low-affinity estrogen receptor binding chemicals on human health. J. Toxicol. Environ. Health B Crit. Rev. 2013;16: 321–35. DOI:

Macdonald JB, Tobin CA, Hurley MY. Oral leukoedema with mucosal desquamation caused by toothpaste containing sodium lauryl sulfate. Cutis. 2016; 97(1):E4-5

Okelo FMG. Improving the hardness of dry granulated tablets containing sodium lauryl sulfate. Int J Pharm. 2010; 400(1-2):37-41. DOI:

Godel J, Heriot Bay. Utilisation du fluor dans la prévention de la carie dentaire avant l’âge de 18 ans. J Pédiatrie Puériculture. 2009; 22(4 5):235 40. DOI:

Ullah R, Zafar MS, Shahani N. Potential fluoride toxicity from oral medicaments: A review. Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2017;20(8):841-848.

Sälzer, S.; Rosema, N.A.; Martin, E.C.; Slot, D.E.; Timmer, C.J.; Dörfer, C.E.; van der Weijden, G.A. The effectiveness of dentifrices without and with sodium lauryl sulfate on plaque, gingivitis and gingival abrasion-a randomized clinical trial. Clin. Oral Investig. 2016 ;20: 443–50. DOI:

Searls, J.C.; Berg, C.A. The influence of dentifrice detergents on oral epithelial slough. Dent. Hyg. (Chic) 1986 ;60: 20–23.

Tricco AC, Lillie E, Zarin W et al. PRISMA Extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR): Checklist and Explanation. Ann Intern Med. 2018;169(7)467-473. DOI:

Martin J (Joanna Briggs Institute 2017). Critical Appraisal Checklist for Systematic Reviews and Research Syntheses. 2017;p.7.

Valkenburg C, Kashmour Y, Dao A et al. The efficacy of baking soda dentifrice in controlling plaque and gingivitis: A systematic review. Int J Dent Hyg.2019;17(2):99‑116. DOI:

Valkenburg C, Weijden FAV der, Slot DE. Plaque control and reduction of gingivitis: The evidence for dentifrices. Periodontol 2000 [Internet]. 2019;79(1):221‑32. DOI:

Johannsen A, Emilson C-G, Johannsen G et al. Effects of stabilized stannous fluoride dentifrice on dental calculus, dental plaque, gingivitis, halitosis and stain: A systematic review. Heliyon.2019;5(12):e02850. DOI:

Hu M-L, Zheng G, Lin H, Yang M, Zhang Y-D, Han J-M. Network meta-analysis on the effect of desensitizing toothpastes on dentine hypersensitivity. J Dent. 2019;88:103170. DOI:

Cunha-Cruz J, Zeola LF. Limited Evidence Suggests That Many Types of Desensitizing Toothpaste May Reduce Dentin Hypersensitivity, but Not the Ones With Strontium or Amorphous Calcium Phosphate. J Evid-Based Dent Pract. 2019;19(4):101337. DOI:

de Oliveira Carvalho I, Purgato GA, Píccolo MS et al. In vitro anticariogenic and antibiofilm activities of toothpastes formulated with essential oils. Arch Oral Biol. 2020;117:104834. DOI:

Vannet BV. The Evaluation of Sodium Lauryl Sulphate in Toothpaste on Toxicity on Human Gingiva and Mucosa: A 3D in vitro Model. 2015;5(9):5.

Anthoney D, Zahid S, Khalid Het al. Effectiveness of Thymoquinone and Fluoridated Bioactive Glass/Nano-Oxide Contained Dentifrices on Abrasion and Dentine Tubules Occlusion: An Ex Vivo Study. Eur J Dent. 2020;14(1):45‑54. DOI:

Camargo SEA, Milhan NVM, Saraiva F de O et al. Are Desensitizing Toothpastes Equally Biocompatible and Effective Against Microorganisms? Braz Dent J. 2017;28(5):604‑11. DOI:

Sadeghi-Nejad B, Moghimipour E, Yusef Naanaie S, Nezarat S. Antifungal and antibacterial activities of polyherbal toothpaste against oral pathogens, in vitro. Curr Med Mycol. 2018;4(2):21‑6. DOI:

Karadağlıoğlu Öİ, Ulusoy N, Başer KHC et al. Antibacterial Activities of Herbal Toothpastes Combined with Essential Oils against Streptococcus mutans. Pathogens. 2019;8(1):20. DOI:

Cvikl B, Lussi A, Gruber R. The in vitro impact of toothpaste extracts on cell viability. Eur J Oral Sci. 2015;123(3):179‑85. DOI:

Kar PP, Shaikh ZA, Hiremath AM, Vikneshan M. Comparison of the effectiveness of three different desensitizing toothpastes in reducing dentin hypersensitivity: A 4-week clinical study. J Conserv Dent JCD. 2019;22(2):181‑4. DOI:

He J, Deng Y, Zhu F et al. The Efficacy and Safety of a Herbal Toothpaste in Reducing Gingivitis: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel Allocation Clinical Trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat MeDd. 2019;No spec:e3764936. DOI:

Orisakwe OE, Okolo KO, Igweze ZN et al. Potential hazards of toxic metals found in toothpastes commonly used in Nigeria. Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig. 2016;67(2):197‑204.

Kharaeva ZF, Mustafaev MS, Khazhmetov AV et al. Anti-Bacterial and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Toothpaste with Swiss Medicinal Herbs towards Patients Suffering from Gingivitis and Initial Stage of Periodontitis: from Clinical Efficacy to Mechanisms. Dent J. 2020;8(1):10. DOI:

Horst JA, Tanzer JM, Milgrom PM. Fluorides and Other Preventive Strategies for Tooth Decay. Dent Clin North Am. 2018;62(2):207‑34. DOI:

Cheng X, Liu J, Li Jet al. Comparative effect of a stannous fluoride toothpaste and a sodium fluoride toothpaste on a multispecies biofilm. Arch Oral Biol. 2017;74:5‑11. DOI:

Marquis RE. Antimicrobial actions of fluoride for oral bacteria. Can J Microbiol. 1995;41(11):955-64. DOI:

Riley P, Lamont T. Triclosan/copolymer containing toothpastes for oral health. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013;(12):CD010514. DOI:

Phan T-N, Marquis RE. Triclosan inhibition of membrane enzymes and glycolysis of Streptococcus mutans in suspensions and biofilms. Can J Microbiol. 2006;52(10):977‑83. DOI:

Shrestha P, Zhang Y, Chen WJ and Wong TY. Triclosan: antimicrobial mechanisms, antibiotics interactions, clinical applications, and human health, J Environ Sc Health, Part C.2020;38(3):245-268. DOI:

Cutrona KJ, Kaufman BA, Figueroa DM, Elmore DE. Role of arginine and lysine in the antimicrobial mechanism of histone-derived antimicrobial peptides. FEBS Lett. 2015;589(24 Pt B):3915-20. DOI:

Weatherly LM, Gosse JA. Triclosan Exposure, Transformation, and Human Health Effects. J Toxicol Environ Health B Crit Rev. 2017;20(8):447‑69. DOI:

de Oliveira SMA, Torres TC, Pereira SL da S et al. Effect of a dentifrice containing Aloe vera on plaque and gingivitis control. A double-blind clinical study in humans. J Appl Oral Sci Rev FOB. 2008;16(4):293‑6. DOI:

Efstratiou E, Hussain AI, Nigam PS et al. Antimicrobial activity of Calendula officinalis petal extracts against fungi, as well as Gram-negative and Gram-positive clinical pathogens. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2012;18(3):173‑6. DOI:

Khairnar MS, Pawar B, Marawar PP, Mani A. Evaluation of Calendula officinalis as an anti-plaque and anti-gingivitis agent. J Indian Soc Periodontol. 2013;17(6):741‑7. DOI:

Sekar M, Abdullah M. Formulation, evaluation and antimicrobial properties of polyherbal toothpaste. 2016;(8):105‑7.

Sensabaugh C, Sagel ME. Stannous fluoride dentifrice with sodium hexametaphosphate: review of laboratory, clinical and practice-based data. J Dent Hyg JDH. 2009;83(2):70‑8.

Paraskevas S, van der Weijden GA. A review of the effects of stannous fluoride on gingivitis. J Clin Periodontol. 2006;33(1):1‑13. DOI:

Slot DE, Berchier CE, Addy M et al. The efficacy of chlorhexidine dentifrice or gel on plaque, clinical parameters of gingival inflammation and tooth discoloration: a systematic review. Int J Dent Hyg. 2014;12(1):25‑35. DOI:

Hosadurga R, Boloor VA, Rao SN, MeghRani N. Effectiveness of two different herbal toothpaste formulations in the reduction of plaque and gingival inflammation in patients with established gingivitis – A randomized controlled trial. J Tradit Complement Med. 2017;8(1):113‑9. DOI:

Wang Y-H, Liang S, Xu D-S et al. Effect and mechanism of senkyunolide I as an anti-migraine compound from Ligusticum chuanxiong. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2011;63(2):261‑6. DOI:

Bekes K, John MT, Schaller H-G, Hirsch C. Oral health-related quality of life in patients seeking care for dentin hypersensitivity. J Oral Rehabil. 2009;36(1):45‑51. DOI:

Vajrabhaya L-O, Korsuwannawong S, Harnirattisai C, Teinchai C. Changes in the permeability and morphology of dentine surfaces after brushing with a Thai herbal toothpaste: A preliminary study. Eur J Dent. 2016;10(2):239‑44. DOI:

Feng X, Chen X, Cheng R et al. Breath malodor reduction with use of a stannous-containing sodium fluoride dentifrice: a meta-analysis of four randomized and controlled clinical trials. Am J Dent. 2010;23 Spec No B:27B-31B.

Ghapanchi J, Kamali F, Moattari Aet al. In Vitro Comparison of Cytotoxic and Antibacterial Effects of 16 Commercial Toothpastes. J Int Oral Health JIOH. 2015;7(3):39‑43.

Tabatabaei MH, Mahounak FS, Asgari N, Moradi Z. Cytotoxicity of the Ingredients of Commonly Used Toothpastes and Mouthwashes on Human Gingival Fibroblasts. Front Dent. 2019;16(6):450.

Healy CM, Paterson M, Joyston-Bechal S et al. The effect of a sodium lauryl sulfate-free dentifrice on patients with recurrent oral ulceration. Oral Dis. 1999;5(1):39‑43. DOI:




How to Cite

Kanouté, A., Dieng, S. N., Diop, M., Dieng, A., Sene, A. K., Diouf, M., Lo, C. M., Faye, D., & Carrouel, F. (2022). Chemical vs. natural toothpaste: which formulas for which properties? A scoping review. Journal of Public Health in Africa, 13(3).