Triclosan is a broad-spectrum antibacterial agent that inserts into and disrupts the bacterial membrane. Being a nonpolar molecule, it has an affinity for the hydrophobic environment of the lipid bilayer. This causes leakage of cellular components, ultimately leading to cell death.
Figure 10. Triclosan.
A nonpoplar molecule that disrupts bacterial cell membranes.
Triclosan is the antibacterial ingredient in Colgate® Total®, and it provides the plaque and gingivitis benefits of the dentifrice. Since it is an uncharged molecule, triclosan itself has poor retention (substantivity) in the oral cavity (Figure 10).50-52 Colgate® Total® is formulated with a special polymer (Gantrez®), which increases the substantivity of triclosan in the oral cavity. Colgate® Total® was introduced outside the U.S. in 1992 and was the first broadly marketed antibacterial dentifrice. Because triclosan is not included in the US Antiplaque-Antigingivitis Monograph, Colgate® Total® had to be approved through an NDA before it could be sold in the US. It received US marketing approval in 1997. Colgate® Total® (Figure 11) carries the ADA Seal of Acceptance and has been demonstrated effective in the therapeutic categories of caries and gingivitis.53-55
Figure 11. Colgate® Total®.
An antigingivitis dentifrice approved through an NDA.
Video 2. Progression of Gingivitis Induced by Bacteria.
Video 3. How an Antibacterial Agent Reduces Bacteria and Gingivitis (Inflammation).