Tetrasodium pyrophosphate, also called sodium pyrophosphate, tetrasodium phosphate or TSPP, is a colorless transparent crystalline chemical compound with the formula Na4P2O7. It is a salt composed of pyrophosphate and sodium ions.
Tetrasodium pyrophosphate is used as a buffering agent, an emulsifier, a dispersing agent, and a thickening agent, and is often used as a food additive. In toothpaste and dental floss, tetrasodium pyrophosphate acts as a tartar control agent, serving to remove calcium and magnesium from saliva and thus preventing them from being deposited on teeth. Tetrasodium pyrophosphate is used in commercial dental rinses before brushing to aid in plaque reduction.
Tetrasodium pyrophosphate is sometimes used in household detergents to prevent similar deposition on clothing, but due to its phosphate content it causes eutrophication of water, promoting algae growth.