Overview

Tin (Sn) is a metal. It can exist by itself or as part of a tin compound. Tin compounds form when tin combines with other elements such as chloride, fluoride, sulfur, or oxygen. The most common form of tin in commercial products is called stannous fluoride.

People use tin as a mouth rinse or toothpaste for conditions such as sensitive teeth and gingivitis. It is also used for conditions such as bad breath, cavities, dry mouth, and plaque, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

How does it work ?

Tin fluoride seems to prevent bacteria from forming, which might prevent plaque and cavities. Tin compounds also seem to prevent the nerves around the teeth from being stimulated, which can prevent tooth sensitivity.

Uses & Effectiveness ?

Possibly Effective for

  • Tooth sensitivity. Applying a gel or toothpaste containing tin as stannous fluoride seems to reduce tooth sensitivity. But it might take up to 2 weeks to work. Rinsing with sodium fluoride solution can reduce symptoms much faster.
  • A mild form of gum disease (gingivitis). Most research shows that using a toothpaste containing tin as stannous fluoride reduces symptoms of mild gum disease, including gum swelling and bleeding. Stannous fluoride toothpaste seems to work about as well as toothpaste containing triclosan and might work better than toothpaste containing sodium fluoride.
There is interest in using tin for a number of other purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: There isn't enough reliable information to know if tin is safe or what the side effects might be when taken by mouth as a medicine. Large amounts might cause side effects such as diarrhea, stomach pain, and nausea.

When applied to the teeth: Toothpastes and other dental products containing tin are LIKELY SAFE when used appropriately. But these products might cause teeth staining.

Special Precautions and Warnings

When taken by mouth: There isn't enough reliable information to know if tin is safe or what the side effects might be when taken by mouth as a medicine. Large amounts might cause side effects such as diarrhea, stomach pain, and nausea.

When applied to the teeth: Toothpastes and other dental products containing tin are LIKELY SAFE when used appropriately. But these products might cause teeth staining.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if tin is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Children: Toothpastes and other dental products containing tin are LIKELY SAFE for children over the age of 6 years when used appropriately. There isn't enough reliable information to know if tin is safe to use by mouth or what the side effects might be.

Interactions ?

We currently have no information for TIN overview.

Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

APPLIED TO THE TEETH:
  • For tooth sensitivity: Gel, toothpaste, or mouth rinse containing tin as stannous fluoride 0.4% has been used at least daily for at least 2 weeks.
  • For a mild form of gum disease (gingivitis): Toothpastes containing tin as stannous fluoride 0.4%, as stannous fluoride 0.454% chelated to gluconate, or as stannous chloride have been used at least once daily.
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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.