Battle of the toothpastes

Seb Evans covers the launch of two new toothpastes at this year’s BDA Conference.

The BDA Conference has come and gone again for another year and, despite missing the annual speech from the MP responsible for dentistry, there was a lot to see and listen to at this year’s conference.

The conference was full of talks covering all aspects of dentistry, including a live audience discussion on the prototype NHS contracts and the launch of the British Dental Association’s (BDA’s) ‘We are dentistry’ campaign.

But this year the main story to come from the show was the launch of two new toothpastes. Just when you thought toothpaste was toothpaste, GSK and Oral B have come along and launched their revamped, new look and scientifically proven…toothpastes.

Oral-B’s Gum & Enamel Repair

Oral-B launched its new toothpaste, Gum & Enamel Repair, as soon as the BDA Conference opened.

It claims this new toothpaste is ‘the best clinically proven toothpaste from Oral-B to help reduce gum problems and prevent enamel erosion.’

Oral-B claims more than 50% of the world’s adult population suffers from gum problems, which is a leading cause of tooth loss.

It is this idea that has led to the development of the new toothpaste.

The toothpaste contains stabalised stannous fluoride, which Oral-B says has more than 31 studies proving it can reduce gum inflammation and bleeding.

‘Oral-B has a long history of supporting dental professionals,’ Jane Kidson, Oral-B professional oral health country manager, said.

‘Our goal is to always provide superior oral care products that continue the care that starts in your chair, helping your patients achieve stronger teeth and healthier gums.’

Oral-B claims the benefits of brushing with its toothpaste include:

Reduced gum problems

  • Activrepair technology provides 70% more stannous versus Oral-B Pro-Expert for better bacterial control through antibacterial action and bacterial growth inhibition of the plaque
  • Through this, the new Oral-B Gum & Enamel Repair toothpaste can deliver up to 72% greater reduction in gum problems versus ordinary toothpastes (Gerlach and Amini, 2012).

Helps prevent enamel erosion

  • Activrepair Technology actively remineralises weakened enamel and builds a protective smear layer that protects teeth against acid erosion even beyond pH<3.5
  • With continued use, Oral-B Gum & Enamel Repair toothpaste makes teeth three times stronger against enamel erosion versus ordinary toothpastes.

GSK’s Sensodyne Rapid Relief

Next up is Glaxosmithkline Consumer Healthcare and its update to the Sensodyne sensitive toothpaste brand – Sensodyne Rapid Relief.

GSK claims this new formulation will create a barrier over exposed dentine and reduce sensitivity in only 60 seconds.

It contains a ‘unique anhydrous formulation’, which means that individual ingredients contained in the formulation, including stannous fluoride and bioadhesive polymers, remain stable and ready for activation by water.

When the toothpaste comes into contact with saliva in the mouth, the facilitating polymer becomes adhesive, and is able to form a gel-like scaffold on the surface of dentine, helping to trap stannous ions which occlude the open ends of the dentine tubules.

GSK claims its data shows that after just one application, stannous ions, the key sensitivity active ingredient in new Sensodyne Rapid Relief, can extend as much as 80µm deep into the tubules, providing rapid occlusion and a 127% reduction in the flow of fluid through the dentine tubules, compared to the previous stannous fluoride formulation.

‘Sensodyne Rapid Relief is taking over from the previous Sensodyne toothpaste, which was an excellent product but we feel this one is even better,’ Professor Nicola West, head of periodontology at the University of Bristol, said.

‘There’s been some recent research, I’ve been involved in a couple of the studies, and the results of which I feel are very powerful and compelling proving that this product is very effective at reducing sensitivity.’

Jon Creeth, medical affairs principal scientist GSK Consumer Healthcare, continued: ‘Dentine hypersensitivity is a common, and painful condition caused when the microscopic tubules in the dentine become exposed.

‘The pain is caused most often when eating cold or hot food/drink, which causes fluid movements in the tubules that stimulate the nerves, creating an instant, short, sharp pain.

‘With the launch of the new formulation of Sensodyne Rapid Relief, GSK Consumer Healthcare offers a formulation clinically proven to relieve the pain of sensitive teeth in 60 seconds and give long lasting protection from its return.’


Dentistry is never standing still and it seems that is the case for toothpastes as well.

Although both these products aren’t groundbreaking in what they’re trying to achieve, they both come heavily backed by scientific studies.

These new toothpastes show Oral-B and GSK are leading the way when it comes to your patients’ oral health and they are helping to provide simple solutions to major oral health complaints.

Both pastes could easily complement a patient’s current oral health regime and improve their gum health or sensitivity.

So for that reason alone they’re certainly worth including in your practice.


Gerlach R and Amini P (2012) Comp Cont Dent Educ 33(2): 138-42

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