Most people know that tooth brushing is essential to oral hygiene, but many do not realize the crucial role toothpaste plays in keeping their teeth healthy. The gentle abrasive qualities of toothpaste help remove food debris and bacteria from the surface of your teeth, while fluoride remineralizes tooth enamel and helps repair small cavities.
High-quality toothpaste is an indispensable part of dental care routines; however, while many effective varieties of toothpaste are available on the market, some contain ingredients that can do more harm than good. Here are six toothpaste ingredients to avoid to protect your general and oral health.
Triclosan is an antibacterial ingredient that is commonly found in toothpaste. Its use is based on studies that show triclosan can have some preventative benefits against developing gingivitis.
However, the FDA has also found that exposure to triclosan was associated with decreased levels of thyroid hormones; other studies found that triclosan may contribute to pathogens developing antibiotic resistance. As a result of these studies, the FDA banned the use of triclosan in soaps.
2. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is an ingredient that has been used as a foaming agent in toothpaste for almost 100 years.
SLS is a known irritant that can aggravate mouth sores by stripping the superficial layer of soft tissue in the mouth (a process called desquamation) and is being studied for its potential role in skin cancer.
A byproduct in the manufacturing of SLS (called 1,4 dioxane) has been known to cause adverse effects on organs, such as the liver, eyes, and kidneys.
3. Propylene Glycol
Propylene glycol is a surfactant found in toothpaste. While propylene glycol is generally considered safe in small amounts, large quantities are known to cause hepatic, circulatory, and nervous system damage.
A preliminary study found that 19% of subjects who received an IV medication containing propylene glycol had metabolic evidence of propylene glycol toxicity, which is potentially life-threatening.
4. Artificial Sweeteners
Many brands of toothpaste include artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame or saccharin.
Past studies have linked sweeteners to certain cancers in rats, but current data on their relationship with cancer is considered inconclusive. However, studies have shown that aspartame consumption can harm the gut biome’s insulin response.
5. Titanium Oxide
Titanium oxide is a tooth whitening and anti-plaque agent in toothpaste.
In 2022, the European Union banned titanium oxide in food products, likely due to a study that found a link between titanium dioxide nanoparticles and genetic damage in mice. As a result, the European Food Safety Authority has ruled that titanium oxide should no longer be considered safe or added to consumer goods.
Parabens are preservatives commonly found in toothpaste and other household goods. When consumed, parabens mimic estrogen hormones, a process linked to breast cancer and endocrine disruptions.
Since there is little human-study data available, the FDA states that they are still monitoring the use of the ingredient.
Protect Your Teeth With Regular Dental Visits to Aurora Dental Group
While high-quality toothpaste can go a long way in improving dental health, nothing can replace regular visits to the dentist.
Call Aurora Dental Group at (630) 896-7354 to schedule a consultation and protect your teeth today. Talk to your hygienist or dentist about the right toothpaste for your oral and overall health.