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Toothpaste Without SLS

In This Article:

What is SLS

Side Effects of SLS

Best Toothpaste Without SLS

Toothpaste without SLS has become popular recently. There are increasing concerns about sodium lauyl sulfate (SLS) in toothpaste and consumers are demanding more brands offer sulfate free toothpaste. You can find SLS in shampoo, toothpaste and many other personal care products.

It's reported in National Institute of Health's website PubMed (MEDLINE) on
sodium lauryl sulfate in toothpaste, that there are side effects to SLS in toothpaste. They even suggest it has the potential to decrease the preventive effects of fluoride in toothpaste.

What is SLS in Toothpaste?

Sodium lauryl sulfate is a synthetic detergent that is used as an additive to allow foaming of cleansing products. It is an emulsifier that is derived from coconuts.

According to Environmental Working Group's (EWG) Skin Deep database, it may also be listed under the names sodium dodecyl sulfate, sulfuric acid, monododecyl ester, sodium salt, sodium salt sulfuric acid, aquarex me or aquarex methyl.

Sodium lauryl sulfate was first introduced after WWII (Wikipedia). The specific action intended was to emulsify oil and water-based ingredients together, as well as to create foam.

Even though it is placed in the seemingly harmless detergent (or soap) chemical category, a review of its associated, federally mandated Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) tells a different story. Under the MSDS list of Precautions for Safe Handling and Use, warnings are given that include: "Do not breathe in. Do not get in eyes, on skin, on clothing. Do not take internally." And under the heading Ingestion, the MSDS sheet states, "If still conscious, induce vomiting."

Side Effects of SLS

EWG rates SLS as a moderate hazard and reports of it being linked to neurotoxicity, skin irritation and endocrine disruption.

A number of scientific studies have been conducted to determine if the adverse effects described in the MSDS are valid. The first notable study was performed by Drs. Barvoll and Brokstad of the University of Oslo, Norway to investigate the effect of SLS in patients with canker sores (recurrent aphthous ulcers). The doctors came to the conclusion that using SLS-free toothpaste, reduced the incidence of canker sores by 60-70%.
(Acta Odontol Scand. 52 (1994):257-259)

Review of several other scientific articles reveals that SLS in toothpaste is a chemical irritant that has been also associated with sloughing (desquamation) of the oral tissues (mucosa) and even the reduction of the effectiveness of fluoride to prevent tooth decay. A study conducted by Dr. Herlofson, using toothpaste with different types of detergents, concluded that using toothpaste with SLS significantly increased the incidence of sloughing of the tissues in the mouth (desquamation of the oral mucosa). (European Journal of Oral Science, 104 (Feb 1996): 21-26)

A German dental journal published a case study by two doctors who noticed peeling of the tissues of the mouth who were using SLS toothpaste. Studies with culture of the tissue found Candida or "thrush". (Mund Kiefer Gesichtschir. 3(2). (march 1999): 78-81)

Not only does the data show that SLS produces adverse effects on the soft tissues of the oral mucosa, but other recent studies reveal potentially adverse effects on all the tissues of the mouth as well.

A study conducted by Rolla and Lagelof found SLS in toothpaste decreases the ability of fluoride to fight acid in the mouth. This makes teeth more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease. (Caries Research. 22(3) (1998): 139-44)

The National Institute of Health database MEDLINE, reports that SLS has been shown to irritate the skin of the face and may worsen skin problems in individuals with sensitive skin. It also dries the skin and scalp when using skin cleansers or shampoo with SLS.

One reason companies ignore the facts and still use SLS in toothpaste and other personal care products, although studies have concluded SLS is an irritant, is due to the cheap price of sodium lauryl sulfate as a detergent.

Best Toothpaste Without SLS

As a consumer, you don't have to ignore scientific evidence. By looking at published studies, it is clear that SLS does cause adverse effects in the mouth and the skin, especially in sensitive individuals.

Cleure sulfate free toothpaste is formulated to be affective and even safe enough to swallow. Children under the age of four cannot spit and end up swallowing most of harsh chemicals in the sweet candy tasting children's toothpaste. Your whole family will get great dental checkups with Cleure Toothpaste without SLS.

Recommended Toothpaste Without SLS

Fluoride & SLS free toothpaste flavorless
SLS Free Toothpaste
alcohol free mouthwash

Alcohol-Free Mouthwash

SLS free travel size toothpaste

More Oral Health Articles by Dr. Flora Stay

How the Mouth Affect's Women's Health

Gum Disease and Heart Disease

Toothpaste Ingredients to Avoid

Get Rid of Constant Bad Breath

Dry Mouth & Mouth Sores

Healthy Snacks for Healthy Teeth