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J Breath Res. 2011 Dec;5(4):046012. doi: 10.1088/1752-7155/5/4/046012. Epub 2011 Dec 1.

Effect of a single brushing with two Zn-containing toothpastes on VSC in morning breath: a 12 h, randomized, double-blind, cross-over clinical study.

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Department of Cariology and Gerodontology, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Oslo, PO Box 1109 Blindern, NO-0317 Oslo, Norway.


This randomized, double-blind, 12 h clinical study tested the effect of a single brushing with two Zn-containing toothpastes on volatile sulfur compound (VSC) levels in morning breath. The following toothpastes were each tested by all 28 participants: A-Zn toothpaste, B--experimental toothpaste (Zn citrate + PVM/MA copolymer) and C--control toothpaste without Zn. The evening prior to test days participants brushed their teeth for 2 min with 1 g toothpaste. 12 h later and prior to eating or performing oral hygiene, morning breath levels of VSC (H(2)S, CH(3)SH) were analysed by gas chromatography. Subjects then rinsed for 30 s with 5 ml cysteine and breath samples were analysed for H(2)S (H(2)S(cys)). Median VSC (area under the curve) values were compared for A, B and C and the effects of A and B on VSC were compared with C. Toothpaste B was more effective than both toothpastes A and C in reducing H(2)S, CH(3)SH and H(2)S(cys) (p < 0.05). Compared with toothpaste C, toothpastes A and B reduced H(2)S by 35% and 68%, respectively (p = 0.003), and CH(3)SH by 12% and 47%, respectively (p = 0.002). Toothpaste B reduced H(2)S(cys) by 48% compared with toothpaste C (p = 0.001). It is suggested that the superior effect of the experimental toothpaste was most likely due to a higher Zn concentration combined with longer retention of Zn due to the PVM/MA copolymer.

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