Effect of Sodium Tripolyphosphate on Polished and Roughened Bovine Enamel

Changxiang Wang, Paul Cooper, Anthony Smith

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Objectives: Sodium Tripolyphosphate (STP) is commonly incorporated into toothpastes for stain removal where its mild chelating properties interfere with stained pellicle integrity. However, these chelating properties may negatively impact on enamel surface finish. This study investigated the effects of STP treatment on the surface finish of polished and roughened enamel with and without tooth-brushing.

Methods: Bovine enamel specimens (n=8/group) were prepared to either 1200-grit SiC and 3µm diamond finish (Polished group), P800-ground finish, or P320-ground finish and soaked or brushed (Oral B P35), using an in vitro tooth-brushing simulator (5-60m brushing), in STP solutions of concentrations (w/w) 2.5%, 5.0% or 10.0% STP. Gloss changes were measured with a Novo-Curve glossmeter and surface roughness and wear depth determined by profilometry.

Results: There were no significant changes in surface roughness and wear depth after brushing in STP for 5-60m. Small gloss decreases occurred for all polished and roughened specimens, which were of greater magnitude with prolonged soaking or brushing. Brushing in STP did not exacerbate the gloss loss relative to soaking for equivalent times. There was no clear linear relationship between STP concentration and gloss change after soaking or brushing reflecting the small gloss changes taking place.

Conclusion: Minor decreases in enamel surface gloss following extensive soaking in STP did not cause greater susceptibility to wear during tooth-brushing. Only minimal changes in enamel surface finish occurred after exposure to STP, even with highly polished surfaces, and its stain removal properties potentially provide positive benefits for oral hygiene
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Internal Medicine & Primary Healthcare
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2017


  • Cleaning
  • Enamel
  • Gloss
  • Oral hygiene
  • Sodium Tripolyphosphate
  • Surface roughness
  • Wear


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