Toothpaste is a paste or gel to be used with a toothbrush to maintain and improve oral health and aesthetics. Since their introduction several thousand years ago, toothpaste formulations have evolved considerably - from suspensions of crushed egg shells or ashes to complex formulations with often more than 20 ingredients. Among these can be compounds to combat dental caries, gum disease, malodor, calculus, erosion and dentin hypersensitivity. Furthermore, toothpastes contain abrasives to clean and whiten teeth, flavors for the purpose of breath freshening and dyes for better visual appeal. Effective toothpastes are those that are formulated for maximum bioavailability of their actives. This, however, can be challenging as compromises will have to be made when several different actives are formulated in one phase. Toothpaste development is by no means complete as many challenges and especially the poor oral substantivity of most active ingredients are yet to overcome.
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