How Your Toothpaste Effects Your Mouth Health


When it comes to maintaining proper oral hygiene, toothpaste is the go-to solution for most. Good oral hygiene and overall mouth health depends on toothpaste. Your toothpaste should help:

  • Remove plaque and bacteria: With the right ingredients, toothpaste should fight acid production, therefore, not allowing bacteria to thrive. Plaque is a sticky, colorless film that accumulates on the teeth and gums, it contains food particles and bacteria which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.  If not removed properly every day, it hardens (called tartar or calculus) and is difficult to brush away. Only a dental professional can remove the hardened plaque.

  • Prevent tooth decay: Most toothpaste brands contain fluoride, which strengthens the enamel to help prevent tooth decay. However, there are controversies about fluoride. Early studies show promise that xylitol also helps prevent tooth decay and has other benefits for a healthy mouth, such as promoting production of saliva, therefore, helping prevent dry mouth.

  • Freshen breath: By helping to remove plaque properly, your toothpaste should help freshen breath without strong flavors to mask malodor (bad breath).

  • Brighten your smile: Mild abrasives are excellent to remove surface stains and bring about a whiter appearing teeth.

  • Saliva production: Saliva is important in preventing gum disease, and with chewing food and swallowing. Your toothpaste should help prevent dry mouth, not cause it.

Choosing a toothpaste that meets the needs of a healthy mouth is an important decision, since not all toothpaste are the same.  

Effects of Toothpaste Ingredients 

      1. Abrasive Toothpaste: Many commercial toothpaste brands contain abrasive components aimed at removing stains and debris. While effective at cleaning, some toothpaste with higher abrasiveness might gradually erode the tooth enamel, making teeth more susceptible to sensitivity and cavities.

      2. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): SLS, a common ingredient found in toothpaste to create that foamy lather. It can lead to oral tissue irritation for some individuals. It may exacerbate canker sores and impact the delicate balance of the oral microbiome, leading to potential discomfort and oral health issues.

      3. High Fluoride Content: Fluoride, known for its role in preventing cavities, can be found in varying types in toothpaste. Excessive fluoride intake may cause dental fluorosis, resulting in white spots or streaks on the teeth, especially if you drink high fluoridated water and use toothpaste with fluoride. The American Dental Association has set the correct percent for the fluoride content in your toothpaste. However, there are different types of fluoride that may be used in toothpaste. For example, sodium fluoride is the most commonly used. Stannous fluoride can also be found in toothpaste. This type may sometimes etch at your enamel or cause tooth staining.

        Children under the age of 6 years have difficulty spitting. This is important and is the reason why there is a warning on the back of all toothpaste with fluoride to "keep our of reach of children under 6 years of age. If more than used for brushing is accidentally swallowed, get medical help or contact Poison Control Center right away. (U.S. F.D.A.)" The yummy tasting toothpaste with fluoride may be a problem for young children.

      4. Artificial Sweeteners and Additives: Toothpaste often contain artificial sweeteners and additives for taste and texture enhancement. Some studies report certain artificial sweeteners may include health risks. 

Natural Toothpaste Pros& Cons

The word natural often brings thoughts of "good for us". While some toothpaste are marketed as natural and may contain essential oils and plant extracts for their potential oral health benefits, it's important to note that some individuals may experience negative side effects. Here are a few facts to be aware of:

  1. Allergic Reactions:

    • Essential oils, such as tea tree oil (anti-fungal), eucalyptus oil, and others, can cause allergic reactions in some people. Symptoms may include itching, redness, swelling, or rash. It's crucial to be aware of any allergies to specific essential oils and avoid products that contain them.
  2. Irritation:

    • Some individuals may experience irritation in the mouth, gums, or other oral tissues due to the presence of certain essential oils or plant extracts. 

  3. Mucosal Sensitivity:

    • The mucous membranes in the mouth is delicate and easily irritated to certain compounds found in essential oils. If you experience a burning sensation, discomfort, or increased sensitivity, to certain compounds found in essential oils, which may lead to irritation.
  1. Interaction with Medications:

    • Some essential oils can interact with medications. For example, eucalyptus oil may interfere with certain medications, particularly those metabolized by the liver. Individuals taking medications should consult their healthcare provider before using products that can be absorbed through the soft tissues in the mouth, to ensure there are no potential interactions.

  2. Toxicity in Excess:

    • While the concentrations of essential oils in toothpaste are generally low, this is more of a concern if someone were to swallow a significant quantity of toothpaste.
  3. Not Suitable for Children:

    • Some essential oils may not be suitable for young children who may swallow candy tasting toothpaste with bright colors. For example, eucalyptus oil can be toxic if ingested by children. It's important to supervise young children to prevent swallowing.
  4. Dental Restorations:

    • Essential oils may have an impact on certain dental restorations. For example, some studies suggest that essential oils might interact with dental materials. This interaction could potentially affect the integrity of dental work.

It's essential for individuals to be aware of the ingredients in their toothpaste and to consult with their dentist or healthcare provider if they experience any adverse effects. Additionally, those with known allergies or sensitivities should carefully read product labels and choose toothpaste formulations based on ingredients and not necessarily what the label claims.

 Toothpaste Ingredients to Choose

Opt for a toothpaste brand with a lower abrasiveness level to protect enamel. Choose SLS-free toothpaste if you're prone to oral irritations, canker sores, or dry mouth. Consider toothpaste with xylitol instead of fluoride, especially for young children. Look for toothpaste free from unnecessary additives, such as parabens and artificial sweeteners for a more natural and balanced oral environment.

In conclusion, while toothpaste is a fundamental part of oral care, being aware of toothpaste ingredients and their potential effects is crucial. Selecting the right toothpaste can significantly contribute to maintaining good oral health. If you have allergies, choose mint-free toothpaste that is also free of SLS sulfate, artificial sweeteners and botanicals such as essential oils and plant extracts.

Remember, getting regular check ups with a dental professional can provide guidance on proper brushing and flossing, which are important towards your mouth health.

 Cleure Flavor-Free Toothpaste:

A superior choice is Cleure's Flavor-Free Toothpaste which stands out as the best option for those seeking a minimalist, gentle, yet effective oral care solution. Formulated without artificial flavors, sweeteners, SLS sulfate, parabens, or other potentially irritating additives, Cleure toothpaste is recommended by dentists and dermatologists because it prioritizes simplicity and purity. The absence of strong flavors makes it an ideal option for individuals with sensitivities, allergies, or those simply looking to avoid unnecessary chemicals. This toothpaste retains its effectiveness in maintaining oral hygiene without compromising on quality, ensuring a gentle and balanced approach to dental care for a wide range of users.

cleure flavor free toothpaste

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