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Can Crest Toothpaste Really Repair Your Gums?

In 2021, at least five lawsuits have been filed against Procter & Gamble claiming that Crest Gum & Enamel Repair toothpaste is being deceptively marketed. [Suit #1, suit #2 pre-amendment, and suit #3]

Crest Gum and Enamel Repair

The lawyers contend that this Crest toothpaste cannot “repair” gums.


Allegations from some of the cases…

…gums that have suffered structural damage cannot be repaired, restored, or re-grown through use of the Product. The only way to repair gums is through periodontal treatment, including cosmetic dental surgery such as gum grafting.

…receding gums do not grow back; once the gum tissue has pulled back and away from teeth, it’s gone for good.

…the Product’s active ingredient –Stannous Fluoride .454% (.14% W/V Fluoride Ion) – which is common to most toothpastes, provides no special gum “repair” benefits.

With respect to gum care, all a toothpaste can really do is control, reduce, or prevent gingivitis by helping to remove plaque. Gingivitis is a common and mild form of gum disease that causes irritation, redness and swelling where your gum meets the base of your teeth.

So the lawyers claim that purchasers have been misled, would not have bought the product, or would have paid less than the premium price that P&G charges had they known the true nature of this toothpaste to start with.

P&G presumably denies the charges but best we can tell, P&G has not formally filed answers to the complaints yet.

One of the lawyers predicts what one of P&G’s defenses might be and he makes a pre-emptive grammatical argument against it. He expects P&G to say that in the phrase “Gum and Enamel Repair” that the word “gum” does not modify the word “Repair.” In essence, he’s suggesting that P&G will likely claim this is a “gum toothpaste” and an “enamel repair toothpaste.” The consumer lawyer says the name of the product follows normal parallel structure and most consumers would understand it to mean the product is for “gum repair” and “enamel repair.”.

What do you think? Do these cases have any teeth?

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12 thoughts on “Can Crest Toothpaste Really Repair Your Gums?”

  1. The gum side of the issue was addressed. What about the “enamel repair” side? Can enamel be repaired once it is gone, or going, or is maintaining the status quo the best that can be done? Sounds like an equal portion of snake oil to me.

  2. This is just your typical remarketing. Take a product, maybe bump it’s active ingredient up a hair and then advertise it as a better product and sell it for more when it does the same.

    It’s pretty obvious it’s designed to make the consumer think of gum repair. The text is the same size and it’s in the same sentence. If I sold you a platter of “beef and chicken steak” you’d be, understandably, upset when I brought you a platter of chicken fried steak and ground beef and then told you it’s a “beef platter” and a “chicken steak” platter.

    • I would agree with you here.

      What are the ingredient differences here between a 5.7 oz Crest Cavity prevention toothpaste that goes goes for like 2 bucks.


      A Crest Gum & Enamel Repair toothpaste at 4.1 oz that goes for like 7 bucks.

  3. If you look at the ingredients of all the different specialties of toothpastes, “Tarter Control” “Restoring” etc, you find the active ingredients are the same. So, what does that tell you? Marketing is an evil

  4. Speaking as someone with a degree in linguistics, I definitely agree with the lawyer that the phrasing “Gum & Enamel Repair” implies that the products does both. If they wanted to make it less ambiguous, they could have phrased it “Enamel Repair & Gum” or “Enamel Repair & Gum Health/Maintenance”. I’ve worked with marketing people. They are definitely “B-Ark” material.

  5. I agree; it would be ridiculous for the P&G attorneys to attempt to say that the word “gum” is independent of the word “repair.” Besides, I have never heard of something called “Gum Toothpaste.”

    By that logic, maybe “Proctor and Gamble” means if you buy a product from Proctor, you’re taking a gamble?

  6. I still remember the simpler times when Colgate’s jingle from the ’50’s claimed that their toothpaste “cleans your breath while it cleans your teeth”. With all the added ingredients in today’s toothpaste, it’s no wonder why one can become overwhelmed with all the different varieties of the same brand. All I want is clean teeth and let the dentist do the rest.

  7. As a retired dentist, I fully agree that the ads are bs. Yes, fluoride can repair enamel, that has been lightly demineralized. There is nothing in this product, that can repair damaged gum tissue. A listing of ingredients will show this product is essentially the same as P&G’s other toothpastes, and other manufacturers, as well. This is your basic, generic toothpaste.

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