Effect of whitening toothpaste on surface roughness and microhardness of human teeth: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Ashwini Rao, Navodita Jamwal, Ramya Shenoy, Mithun Pai, K. S. Aparna, B. R. Avinash

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Whitening toothpastes exert a whitening effect on teeth through higher surface cleaning effectiveness resulting from the abrasive properties of the paste or specific chemical components. This systematic review and meta-analysis was conceptualized to examine the relationship between whitening toothpastes and surface roughness as well as microhardness of human teeth and to clarify the evidence base available around this relationship by conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies in this topic area, looking at in vitro randomized control trials. Methods: Criteria for including studies in the review were done based on population, intervention, comparison, outcomes and study and studies were identified from electronic databases. Covidence was used for data screening and data extraction. The CONSORT tool was used for checking relevant content and methodology used in each of the papers reviewed. Systematic review was done followed by meta-analysis, using Review Manager. Results: A total of 125 articles were obtained on key word search. After duplicate removal and title screening, 17 articles were eligible for full text review. Finally, 7 studies were included for systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted on 4 studies. The forest plot for surface roughness showed that that the meta-analytic effect was statistically significant with surface roughness value being higher in the intervention group. The forest plot for microhardness showed that the meta-analytic effect was statistically significant with the microhardness value being lesser in the intervention group. Conclusions: Although whitening toothpastes typically can lighten tooth color by about one or two shades, there is some evidence to show that these toothpastes also affect the mineral content of teeth by increasing surface roughness and reducing microhardness. More evidence and further research are needed to identify the type of whitening agent which will whiten the tooth effectively while maintaining the integrity of the tooth structure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number22
Pages (from-to)17
Publication statusPublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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