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Science in the News

Are we ready to abandon toothpaste?

July 22, 2016 Recently, Sir James Dyson, inventor and businessman, included a dental gel for oral hygiene on his list of 10 favorite gadgets.1 The gel is Livionex® (Livionex, Inc.), and uses what the company terms as a “proprietary technology” that activates Edathamil, a food-grade chelating compound more commonly known as EDTA. The claims made for the gel is that it interferes with harmful bacteria in the mouth and prevents biofilm from attaching to the surface of the tooth.  Information from the company website includes that it reduces calcium in plaque fluid and that it does not contain abrasives, detergents, antimicrobials or fluoride.2

To date, there are two peer-reviewed studies supporting product claims of improvement in plaque and gingivitis outcomes2, 3 and one study presented online.4 None of these examined the impact of the product on erosion or caries risk, nor provided any insight about safety.  Its current price of $20/1.7 ounce tube puts it outside the range of other dentifrices, which have far more data regarding safety and effectiveness.  Given the small sample sizes, short study durations, and homogeneity of the populations studied, it is premature from the perspective of evidence-based dentistry to do anything more than speculate on the utility of this product in an oral care regimen.


  1. Kornelis C. James Dyson’s Favorite Gadgets. Wall Street Journal. June 13, 2016. Accessed July 20, 2016.
  2. Dadkhah M, Chung NE, Ajdaharian J, et al. Effects of a Novel Dental Gel on Plaque and Gingivitis: A Comparative Study. Dentistry (Sunnyvale) 2014;4(6):239.
  3. Ajdaharian J, Dadkhah M, Sabokpey S, et al. Multimodality imaging of the effects of a novel dentifrice on oral biofilm. Lasers Surg Med 2014;46(7):546-52.
  4. Ralston D, Carrasco R, Jacobsen PL, Wink C. Comparison of Plaque Removal Capabilities between Two Dentifrices.  2014.

Prepared by: Center for Scientific Information, ADA Science Institute

About Science in the News

Science in the News is a service by the American Dental Association (ADA) to its members to present current information about science topics in the news. The ADA is a professional association of dentists committed to the public's oral health, ethics, science and professional advancement; leading a unified profession through initiatives in advocacy, education, research and the development of standards. As a science-based organization, the ADA's evaluation of the scientific evidence may change as more information becomes available. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.