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A dental professional on a mission. Also loves photography and writing. Follow me to learn the secrets of dentistry.

GUM ActiVital Toothpaste Review

Dental Revelations Blog-13

GUM ActiVital Toothpaste Review by Dental Revelations Blog

I recently received a free sample of new GUM ActiVital toothpaste and wanted to let you know from a professional point of view how good the toothpaste is. And if it is what the manufacturer’s selling speech on their website states:

-Effectively helps prevent cavities by remineralizing the dental enamel thanks to our patented combination of fluoride and isomalt
-Prevents the plaque build-up that can harm the new permanent teeth
-No alcohol, parabens, or sulfates (SLS)
-Gentle formula contains natural chamomile flower extract
-Yummy strawberry flavor

It seems that this toothpaste is not available in the USA yet (or no longer?), but I’m sure it can be ordered online if you are interested to try it out.

The Design

I love the green colour in the packaging design. It is simply the freshest colour there is. The pomegranate apple is a plus at least for me because I recently learned that pomegranate apple has plenty of health benefits.

The tube is pretty much similar to the toothpastes of Oral-b and it is easy to open. Like often, there is a lid protecting the toothpaste under the cap. Not sure about what the material of the lid is – it looks metallic but is too thin to be considered as recyclable metal. Is it some sort of plastic with a foil layer? In my house that has 8 different recycling bins, this small lid has no other place than domestic waste where everything that cannot be recycled is put. I call it The Bin of Shame.

What material is the lid?

Some might think that what on earth am I on about when I worry over very small piece of non-recyclable material. But I think it is about the attitude towards the Planet Earth. We should try to use materials that can be recycled and even better thing would be if the materials we use were sustainable. No matter how small they are.

The Testing

The toothpaste is green in colour and is more like gel than a paste. Brings in mind my teenage years in the ’80s when hair gel of this colour was very popular. Do people still use it? Nowadays there are all sorts of hair clays, powders, waxes and so on to choose from. But back in the good old days we relied on the green toothpaste-like hair gel that made your hair stiff as a stick.

Sorry, couldn’t resist walking down the memory lane. Back to the subject.

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ActiVital toothpaste

I always want to know if the toothpaste contains microbeads and the closer look at the toothpaste does not show any beads in it. It’s almost silky smooth to the eye.

A hair gel?

Also the ingredients list (see at the end of this post) does not state any microbeads (polyethylene or polypropylene).

So, lets put the toothpaste on my beloved Philips Sonicare’s bristles. The toothpaste is very firm in texture and stays put when applied to the brush. That is a plus in my opinion.

The best toothbrush ever! And pretty good toothpaste as well.

The toothpaste tastes pleasant and is not too strong in flavour. It is minty, but has this kind of earthy taste, like hint of herbs. So far no burning or any other unpleasant sensations can be felt.

It forms a slight foam despite the fact that it does not have sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS aka soap) in it. This is another plus as SLS can cause adverse reactions. Instead there are three other ingredients that have bubble-forming properties (Hydroxyethylcellulose, Lauryl Glucoside and Cocamidopropyl Betaine).

I must say that this toothpaste is very pleasant to use compared to ones that have no bubble-forming agents and kind of vanish in mouth when brushing. I have found that many of my patients are wondering if non-foaming toothpastes actually do their job. Of course non-foaming toothpastes are as effective to one’s dental health as the foaming ones but somehow people have associated foaming to the effectiveness of the toothpaste.

After brushing for about 2 minutes, it still feels pleasant in mouth. No numbing or burning feeling can be felt.

After spitting out the toothpaste a fresh feeling stays for a long time in mouth. Also my teeth feel VERY clean and smooth. This in fact is worrying for me as a dental professional and only one question pops up in my mind:

what is the RDA of this toothpaste?

Well, I found the answer from the internet and to my surprise the RDA level is only 50! Amazing! With very low abrasivity this toothpaste does it’s job very well. Another plus deserved.

Would I recommend

It definitely cleans well and that alone is reason enough to recommend it.

But as a dental professional I must look deeper.

I am always interested in the ingredients that can cause adverse reaction. I once experienced an adverse reaction from a toothpaste and since then I have been more alert when my patients experience e.g. dry mouth or have lichenoid lesions in mouth. These and many other symptoms can be caused by certain ingredients in toothpaste.

In Gum ActiVital toothpaste there is cocamidopropyl betaine, which is a foaming agent that can cause adverse reaction. It has been named as an Allergen of The Year 2014 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society. This fact alone is pretty condemning.

Also flavourings in toothpaste can cause adverse reaction and with ActiVital toothpaste the flavouring is only stated with a word aroma. Pretty vague description and as a consumer I would definitely want to know more about it. The packaging states fresh mint but why not clarify it on the ingredient list? There is funny error on their website regarding the flavouring. It’s the

Yummy strawberry flavor

From Sunstar website.

I noticed this just after I had written my experience of the taste (earthy taste, like hint of herbs). Made me smile. They must have mixed up the advertisement contents of their children’s toothpaste and ActiVital toothpaste. Should they be informed about this error or just leave it like it is?

The manufacturer has considered one of the ActiVital toothpaste’s ingredient so important that they have put it in the packaging in quite large font. That is Q10.

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Cropped image from the Activital packaging.

Now this is interesting and I must say I think it is just a way to make the toothpaste more appealing by the known anti-ageing properties of Q10. I researched and researched to find out if there is benefit of using Q10 in the toothpaste and I’m afraid there isn’t any proven benefit. There has been a study in 1995 “Coenzyme Q10 and periodontal treatment: is there any beneficial effect?” ( by Watts, T. L. P. British Dental Journal. Department of Periodontology and Preventive Dentistry, UMDS, Guy’s Hospital London). Only the study’s abstract is available online and it states that G10 is not in fact beneficial when treating periodontal disease. No later studies are available online which in this modern world means there is none.

When doing my research I found out that the manufacturer Sunstar has a questionable advice on their website regarding the use of the toothpaste

Brush with our multi-functional GUM® ActiVital® Toothpaste after each meal to help keep your mouth healthy in the long term

Honestly, in a world where dental erosion is almost epidemic, you should know better not to advice people to brush the teeth after each meal. The latest studies suggest that you should forget about the whole business of brushing after meal. The studies have found that the pH level in mouth is still low even after 2 hours of eating. So you may brush before the meals but not after – just remember that we only advice to brush twice a day normally.

So, would I recommend?

Yes, I would. If you are not afraid of the long ingredient list and one definite allergen on the list (not everyone will get adverse reactions), just try the toothpaste and see how you feel about it. The most important thing for me is that the toothpaste does not contain SLS (soap), the RDA level is not over 100 and it contains enough fluoride. GUM ActiVital has fluoride content of 1450ppm which is the recommended level for the adults. So it does prevent cavities by remineralizing the teeth as they promise. Also Activital has ingredients that are anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial.

I have been using this toothpaste for 3 weeks now and my teeth have never felt so polished after brushing. So I think I will carry on using it until better one shows up.

The Ingredients

  1. Glycerin – an organic compound most commonly from animal fat and vegetable oil
  2. Hydrated Silica – abrasive
  3. Isomalt – sugar substitute. Studies suggest isomalt might help in prevention of gum disease (gingivitis and periodontitis)
  4. Silica – a mild abrasive to clean teeth
  5. Propyl Steardimonium Chloride – Not much information is available about this ingredient. I found out that it is conditioning agent and either synthetic or animal origin. If you know more about this ingredient, please contact me.
  6. Hydroxyethylcellulose – thickening and bubble-forming agent.
  7. Cocamidopropyl Betaine – antiseptic, foam booster, thickener. Possibility for adverse reaction. Voted as Allergen of The Year 2004 by American Contact Dermatitis Society.
  8. Aroma – a chemical compound which adds odours to dental products. The specific aroma is not specified by the manufacturer.
  9. Lauryl Glucoside – surfactant and bubble-forming agent made from coconut or palm oil and glucose from corn.
  10. PEG-40 Hydrogenated castor oil. The abbreviation PEG = polyethylene glycol.
  11. Sodium Saccharin – an artificial sweetener.
  12. Sodium Fluoride – the good in the toothpaste.
  13. Sodium Chloride – mild abrasive.
  14. Sodium Benzoate – an antimicrobial agent (preservative).
  15. Bisabolol – anti-inflammatory (found in chamomile flowers).
  16. Punica Granatum Fruit Extract – pomegranate fruit extract, essential oil. Reduces plaque development, works as an anti-cariogenic (anti cavities) agent.
  17. Ubiquinone – also known as coenzyme G10. An antioxidant.
  18. Potassium Sorbate – an antimicrobial preservative. Possibly used instead of parabens. Generally regarded as safe to use.
  19. Zingiber Officinale Root Extract – Ginger root extract. An anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial ingredient
  20. CI 42090 – colouring agent. Approved food colorant in EU and approved to be added to food in US.
  21. CI 47005 – colouring agent.

You might also like to read

Oral-B Gum & Enamel Repair Original Toothpaste Review
RDA Value in Toothpastes – Any Relevance?
Gc Tooth Mousse Review and Advice for Use
Hands up Who Knew That Zinc in Toothpaste Can Cause Dry Mouth?
Testing Oral-b Smart Phone Holder, Take 1
Testing Oral-b Smart Phone Holder, Take 2

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GC Tooth Mousse Review and Advice for Use

It is time for my second review. This time it is the GC Tooth Mousse. I have been using this product on my patients and myself for several years and I am going to tell you how I choose the patients whose teeth will get application of Tooth Mousse and why many patients also get advice to use Tooth Mousse at home.

There will be instructions on how to use the Tooth Mousse at home and in surgery.

What Is Tooth Mousse?

Gc Tooth Mousse review by Dental Revelations

Mousse? Not really. The name is slightly misleading as it is more like a gel. But I guess strawberry flavoured mousse brings positive associations in people’s minds. Almost like a delicious dessert. It does taste pleasant though. There are 5 different flavours: the featured strawberry, vanilla, melon, mint and tutti-frutti.

Let’s see first what the manufacturer’s selling speech is:

When Tooth Mousse is applied to tooth surfaces, the CPP-ACP molecule binds to biofilm, plaque, bacteria, hydroxyapatite and surrounding soft tissue.

-Delivers Recaldent™ Casein Phosphopeptide – Amorphous Calcium Phosphate
-Inhibits enamel demineralisation and induces remineralisation
-Reduces hypersensitivity by obturating open dentinal tubules
-Prevents initial caries forming thanks to the anti-cariogenic properties
-Reverses white spot lesions
-The delicious flavours stimulate saliva flow for an enhanced effectiveness of CPP-ACP

Source

Many difficult to understand words I think. And this letter combination CPP-ACP, what the heck is that? If you are a common consumer, you probably are not 100% sure what you just read. I will try to tell the same in more simplified way.

What Is the Secret in Tooth Mousse?

It is the milk. Well part of it.

It is known that milk is beneficial to dental health due to its calcium and other derivatives. Tooth Mousse contains plenty of calcium complex of CPP-ACP (see below where this abbreviation comes from), commercially named as Recaldent, which is the ideal delivery system for calcium and phosphate ions that are naturally available in milk.

Recaldent is derived from the milk protein, casein hence the protective effect to the teeth.

Research has shown that this activity is due to a part of the casein protein called Casein Phosphopeptide (or CPP), which carries calcium and phosphate ions in the form of Amorphous Calcium Phosphate (or ACP).

Source

GC Tooth Mousse does not contain fluoride but there is a product called GC Tooth Mousse Plus that contains fluoride (900ppm).

Who Benefits of Using Tooth Mousse?

On top of my list are definitely the patients with signs of dental erosion. But these people fall into two different categories – to the ones whose dental erosion is active and progressing and to the ones whose dental erosion has stopped progressing and no reason from diet or health, that would cause erosion, can be found.

The former group will always (with three exception, will tell you about it later) get an application of Tooth Mousse in my surgery. People who belong to this group are often vegetarians, vegans and people suffering from gastric reflux – they are the ones who suffer from the dental erosion the most. And especially people who have gastric reflux and grind/clench their teeth at night – if they use night guard, then even more so as the saliva that protects the teeth is present in very small amounts in mouth at night and this small amount of saliva is not able to reach the top teeth that are covered by the night guard.

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Mouth guard. Read about them here.

The problem is that even though the saliva is not able to reach the top teeth, the stomach acid is because it travels on the surface of the tongue. The tongue rests often against the roof of the mouth and the stomach acid has access under the night guard. And stomach acid is very acidic – its pH is between 1,5-3,5.

To these patients I also advise to buy Tooth Mousse to be used at home. And once they have used it regularly I often see that the enamel has restored its shine again. Of course you cannot grow the lost enamel back by using this product but Tooth Mousse will make the remaining enamel stronger to the effects of acids.

The dental erosion is not the only reason for the application of the Tooth Mousse. I will apply Tooth Mousse to the patients

  • that suffer from dry mouth (xerostomia)
  • who have high risk of caries
  • who have hypersensitivity

Also I apply Tooth Mousse after scaling and root planing, after bleaching and after removal of orthodontic brackets to prevent sensitivity after treatment.

The Exceptions?

I do not apply the Tooth Mousse to people

  1. who are allergic to milk protein as the Recaldent is derived from the milk protein, casein.
  2. who are allergic to hydroxybenzoates.
  3. who are strict vegans as everything entering the mouth should be plant-based.

How to Apply Tooth Mousse at Home?

It is very easy to apply Tooth Mousse at home. If you are a night guard user, continue reading further to find out how to use it with night guard at night.

Follow these simple steps:

  1. Brush your teeth and clean in between the teeth thoroughly.
  2. Wash your hands and apply pea size amount to the back of your hand. Then apply another same sized amount next to the first one (see photo). Now you have one dosage for your upper teeth and one for your lower teeth. This is the minimum dosage.
  3. Use a clean finger or a cotton swab/bud (see the photo) so spread Tooth Mousse all over you teeth (see photo).
    20181015_143601.jpg
  4. Leave the Tooth Mousse undisturbed for at least 3 minutes (go and watch the telly to make the time pass quicker – it doesn’t matter if the Tooth Mousse stays undisturbed in your mouth for longer. The longer it stays, the better).
  5. Once 3 minutes has passed, move your tongue over your teeth to spread the mousse everywhere in your mouth, including the soft tissues. You can swish the mixture of saliva and Tooth Mousse around your mouth. Try to keep the liquid in your mouth for 2 minutes and then spit out the liquid. There is also an option not to spit out – just spread the mousse with your tongue all over you mouth and that’s it. Leave it there. If doubting – jump to
    Is It Necessary to Spit It Out?
  6. Do not eat, drink or rinse for 30 minutes.

Tooth Mousse with night guard (especially if you suffer from gastric reflux):

  1. Brush your teeth and clean between the teeth (or vise versa, it doesn’t make much difference which way around you do it).
  2. Clean the night guard by using manual toothbrush for it. Do not use toothpaste for the night guard.
  3. Apply small amounts of Tooth Mousse inside the night guard (see photo) and place it in your mouth.
  4. Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.
  5. In the morning, brush the night guard with manual toothbrush and rinse with water. Brush your teeth as well.

How to Apply Tooth Mousse in the Surgery?

Demonstrative photo.

If there is lots of saliva in the surfaces of the teeth I dry the surfaces with a cotton roll. The enamel does not need to be absolutely dry so do not use pressurised air.

For the application I often use Monject syringe with a black dispensing tip (19 gauge) but it can be applied also with a cotton roll – just remember the aseptic technique. Pea size amount per arch is the minimum amount for the application.

Now after the applications there are two ways to do proceed. I pretty much always ask the patients to ignore the Tooth Mousse for couple of minutes and then to move the tongue over the teeth to spread the gel also to the soft tissues. And that’s all. Very simple to apply. But always remember to instruct the patient not to drink, eat or rinse for half an hour after the application.

Another option is to repeat the above but after the patient has spread the gel around the mouth you can advice her to wait for couple of minutes before spitting out all the extra saliva and Tooth Mousse. Advise patient not to eat, drink or rinse the mouth for half an hour.

Personally I stick to not spitting out.

Is It Necessary to Spit It Out? Oh, the Confusion!

Now personally I find it confusing that two different ways to do it is advised by the manufacturer. Why not stick to advising to leave the Tooth Mousse in mouth if there is no reason to spit it out?

In their leaflet where Tooth Mousse is introduced, they advice to leave the Tooth Mousse in mouth without spitting:

For at-home use: when your patients apply Tooth Mousse and MI Paste Plus immediately before going to bed, they should leave it on their teeth to slowly dissolve overnight.

But in their instructions for use (IFU) that is found inside the package the advise given is the opposite:

4. Expectorate thoroughly and if possible avoid rinsing. Any GC Tooth Mousse remaining on the surface can be left to gradually dissipate overnight. Do not eat or drink for 30 minutes following application.

To make it even more confusing, on their FAQs leaflet they leave it up to the consumer whether to spit out or not. This what the manufacturer answers to the customer’s question Do I need to wash it off?

This is a matter of preference. For the maximum benefit, leave it on the teeth as long as possible. The minimum recommended application time is three minutes. You can then rinse the mouth or simply wipe any remaining crème from the teeth.

And to the question Is it safe to swallow?

Yes. The main ingredient of GC Tooth Mousse® is derived from milk casein and, like milk and cheese, is edible. GC Tooth Mousse® should not be used by people with milk protein allergies or sensitivity to benzoate preservatives.

If it does not really matter whether to rinse or not to rinse but it would be beneficial to leave the Tooth Mousse in mouth as long as possible, I repeat – why not stick to advising Do not spit?

Would I Recommend This Product?

Hell, yeah.

I have noticed numerous times that sensitivity after scaling and root planing is almost non-existent every time I have applied Tooth Mousse after treatment.

Also the enamel restores its shine after patient suffering from dental erosion has used Tooth Mousse regularly. Of course I must say that one part of this process is the fact that many people change their lifestyle habits once they understand that the enamel does not grow back once it’s gone. There is natural defence in everyone’s mouth and that is saliva. As long as there is not too much for the saliva to handle in daily basis (e.g. sour drinks, snacking), it can keep the enamel healthy.

It is comforting to know that there is something that the patients suffering from the gastric reflux can use at night to protect their teeth from the stomach acid. Gastric reflux is a nasty thing to have and very often patients do not even know they are suffering from it but that is completely another story. I might write a short post about it soon.

You might also like

Dental Erosion and Tea

How Diet Affects Your Teeth

Still or Sparkling?

Eeny Meeny Miny Moe – Which Type of Tooth Wear?

And remember to share the post if you found it beneficial!

Dental Erosion and Tea

Seven_Sisters_Panorama,_East_Sussex,_England_-_May_2009.jpg

By Diliff – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6739706

As a dental professional I worry about growing phenomenon of dental erosion on patients teeth. Yesterday I saw 6 patients of which 5 of them had erosion on their teeth ranging from mild to very severe. There is not necessarily difference between different age groups any more. Dental erosion affects all the age groups and often it is due to ignorance – not knowing that something we do everyday basis is damaging our teeth. And damaging for good. With this post I hope to raise awareness of one very common habit many of us have that could damage the enamel of the tooth. That is drinking tea.

What is Erosion?

People often know what erosion means when it comes to for example coastal erosion (hence the photo of beautiful Seven Sisters, UK). But when I mention the word erosion to the patient, they often look perplexed.

Dental erosion is one type of tooth wear where tooth looses its structure due to chemical dissolution by acids. These erosive acids enter the mouth through two routes – from outside (food, drinks, medicine, supplements) or from inside of the individual (stomach acid due to gastric reflux or bulimia). The loss of the tooth structure is permanent. It won’t grow back. So the prevention of the dental erosion is the most important thing to do.

With this post I will not go into all the things that cause dental erosion as I have written it in my previous post How Diet Affects Your Teeth? But what I didn’t write on that post was something I didn’t know back then. You see, this profession is constant learning as long as you are receptive. I knew that fruit teas are acidic but what I did not know is that only two types of teas are safe to drink when it comes to tooth wear.

pH of Different Teas

There are plenty of studies about the pH levels of different teas. Just google words erosive potential of teas. When I did this I also run into some worrying sites like this one where incomplete advice is given to people. The effects on teeth is completely left out when talking about alkaline diet even though the mouth is one important part of your overall health.

What people following alkaline diet are thinking is that foods consumed will become alkaline in your body. But remember when acidic foods (lemon, lime, berries, apples etc) or drinks (e.g. herbal and fruity teas, carbonated drinks, juices) enter the mouth, they stay acidic. Lets take the lemon as an example. In the alkaline diet’s pH chart they state that lemon is very alkaline (pH 10). But when entering mouth, it is highly acidic (pH 2.0)

The same site advises people to drink hibiscus tea as alkaline tea. A revelation, also hibiscus is not alkaline when entering mouth. It is in fact the most acidic tea there can be (pH level <3.0). Any drink with pH level below 5,5 will cause erosion on enamel if consumed regularly.

It worries me that people actually follow these constricted advices blindly. I don’t blame them. Many people are clueless when it comes to matters of health. Everyone following alkaline diet should read this article to determine if there are enough health benefits of the alkaline diet to risk the health of the teeth. The only downfall of this article is that it is not writing about health risks of alkaline diet.

Erosion-Enhancers

The herbal and fruity teas are acidic but certain factors can make them even more erosive. These are exposure time and temperature of the drink.

Nowadays people carry their drinks with them in a travel mugs enabling them to sip it during e.g. commuting and perhaps some of it is left for them to drink when they reach their desk. If the drink is acidic tea it means prolonged exposure to acids and if repeated often, it will result in tooth erosion. If there is sugar or honey added to the drink it will be even more erosive and also cariogenic.

Also the hotter the drink is the more erosive it is. And these travel mugs keep the drink warm for a long period of time.

Warning Signs of Erosion

The first sign of dental erosion is normally sensitivity to cold or pressure (when brushing the teeth or touching the surface of the tooth with your finger nail. The latter us professional do not encourage to do). This should raise an alarm in your mind and you should go through your diet to find out if you are consuming something regularly that is too acidic to your teeth. You will find help from my post How Diet Affects Your Teeth. Remember that the best drink teeth-wise between the meals is tap water because it is alkaline.

Another sign of tooth wear is change in tooth colour. As the enamel gets permanently thinner, the yellower tooth structure the dentin under the enamel will start to show through. Your teeth will look yellower than before and no whitening done will change that as the whitening substance is not able to reach the dentin.

When the shape of your tooth is changing, the erosion is already severe. Thinning enamel will easily chip off making your teeth look less attractive than they used to be. Often people feel embarrassed about their teeth at this point.

So my message to you all is to prevent dental erosion! Think what you put in your mouth and how often you do that. Occasional acidic drink will not make any difference but when consumed often, it will cause problems.

Is Any Tea Safe to Drink?

Yes! The pH level of green tea and black tea are on the safe side. Black tea also contains fluoride which helps to prevent tooth erosion. But remember, they are only safe if no sugar (including honey) or lemon is added. Sugar will cause the pH level of the saliva to drop below 5,5 and lemon is very acidic like I mentioned already above.

Here are some studies for further reading

Erosive potential of herbal teas

International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR): Dental Erosion and Tea: A Systematic Review

BBC: “Sipping acidic fruit teas can wear away teeth, says study”

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Eeny Meeny Miny Moe – Which Type of Tooth Wear?

How Diet Affects Your Teeth