Natural ingredients boost oral care palette for formulators

With an eye on the latest trends in oral care, John Woodruff discusses natural antibacterial ingredients, foaming solutions and gentle abrasives

The majority of cosmetic oral care products are either in the form of a powder, paste or gel to facilitate tooth cleaning, or a liquid to freshen the mouth and rinse the teeth. Both types of product may claim to remove dental plaque, eliminate harmful microorganisms, brighten and whiten teeth, and stop bad breath. Ingredients recommended for these products are the focus of this feature.


Better Brushing

People routinely brush their teeth with a toothbrush and a dentifrice to remove food particles and bacteria that accumulate in the mouth. Brushing regularly minimises problems like a build-up of plaque, cavities, gingivitis, caries and bad breath.

Dental plaque comprises a mass of microorganisms embedded in a polysaccharide matrix that adheres firmly to dental surfaces. It is removed only with difficulty and rapidly reforms on the tooth surface after removal. The formation of plaque on the teeth can eventually produce gingivitis, periodontitis and other types of periodontal disease, as well as dental caries and dental calculus.

Gingivitis is characterised by inflammation or infection of the gums and the alveolar bones that support the teeth. It is caused by bacteria in the mouth, particularly those involved in plaque formation. The plaque and bacterial toxins are believed to be the causative agents for oral tissue inflammation within the mouth. Periodontitis is a progressively worsened state of gingivitis and both are inflammatory disorders caused by interactions between oral pathogens and the host’s immune response. Because of this, most oral care products are aimed at eliminating the harmful bacteria that are fundamental to dental problems.


Natural Options

Triclosan and cetyl pyridinium chloride have long been used as antibacterial agents in oral care products, but are now falling out of favour and alternatives are being sought, preferably of natural origin. Cosphaderm Magnolia Extract 98 consists of magnolol and honokiol with a purity of at least 98%.

It shows a strong pH-independent efficiency against Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus oralis, which are the principal cause of caries and against Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, Fusobacterium nucleatum and Porphyromonas gingivalis, the principal cause of periodontitis.

Eugenol is an active constituent of clove oil and Patent USP 9,2132,103 claims small amounts of eugenol in combination with thymol and terpineol has a synergistic activity, provides fast antimicrobial activity, and allows a reduction in thymol and terpineol content. The composition also contains 1-5% by weight benzalkonium chloride, which may account for much of the improvement claimed. An oral composition wherein the essential oil is selected from a group consisting of clove oil, cinnamon oil, oregano oil, peppermint oil and sesame oil is described in Patent USP 9,554,986 and an abstract of this appears on p58 of June's issue of SPC. The patent also claims the essential oils used permit a probiotic blend of beneficial oral bacteria to survive.

The use of probiotics is popular in certain foodstuffs and there is now a growing trend in cosmetic products. The theory is that . . .

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