Recent media reports about an ingredient we use in our Colgate Total brand toothpaste are not based on facts or science. As we are talking about one of the best-selling toothpastes in the U.S., we want to set the record straight.

First, it isn’t just Colgate that believes in Colgate Total.  It is also the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, European, Canadian and Australian health authorities, the American Dental Association and 40 other dental professional organizations worldwide.  Colgate Total is the only toothpaste that is both approved by the FDA and accepted by the ADA.  

Colgate Total has been available to treat plaque and gingivitis for 17 years, and these problems are more pervasive than most people think. Seventy five percent of Americans face gum disease. We all have about 700 microorganisms in our mouths, and Colgate Total was created to attack those that result in gingivitis, which, if not stopped, can lead to periodontal disease and  tooth loss.  


Recently a thorough independent review was conducted by the Cochrane Oral Health Group on the oral health benefits of triclosan/copolymer, the active antibacterial system in Colgate Total. They found that after six or more months of use, as compared with traditional fluoride toothpaste, the triclosan formula delivered a 22% reduction in plaque and gingivitis, a 41% reduction in plaque severity, and a 48% reduction in gum bleeding.

Also, with the growing body of science linking oral health to overall health, Colgate Total is the only toothpaste that provides both antibacterial protection and direct anti-inflammatory action, which is an important benefit.

Exhaustive testing has shown not only that Colgate Total provides important health benefits, but also that it is safe.  More than 90 clinical studies involving 20,000 people as well as a broad set of safety evaluations make Colgate Total the most tested and reviewed toothpaste in the world.  Colgate continues to submit annual reports to the FDA addressing new science and further safety findings.  

Recent claims that triclosan in Colgate Total can lead to cancer are absolutely untrue. Global regulators have reviewed the issue of carcinogenicity and have concluded that triclosan in consumer products does not pose a human cancer risk.  

Three different studies in three different animal species have been reviewed by regulators around the world and all have concluded triclosan in Colgate Total is absolutely safe.

As for claims of endocrine disruption, the World Health Organization defines an endocrine disruptor as something harmful to one’s health, and that is simply not the case here. An examination of the full body of evidence shows that triclosan as used in personal care products does not present a risk of endocrine related health effects. This evidence includes two human clinical studies done to analyze the potential endocrine impact of triclosan in toothpaste.  Neither showed any negative effect.

No organization spends more time analyzing the health and safety of our products than we do. For more than 200 years, we have provided consumers the safest and most effective products you’ll find anywhere. 

We believe Colgate Total is the best, safest and most effective toothpaste available to prevent and reverse gingivitis.  

I know the science and I know how it works.  It is the only toothpaste I use.

We all know that a rumor travels half-way around the world before the truth even has a chance to be heard.  But we want the truth to have a chance to catch up. We encourage consumers to look at the facts.

Patricia Verduin, PhD., Head of Colgate-Palmolive Research & Development