One of the saddest truths about oral health is that many do not look at the ingredients of the toothpaste that they purchase. They have blind faith that the manufacturers have the customers’ best interests at heart, and that there are no chemicals in there that could even do more harm than good.
While fluoride has been championed by many dentists over the years for its ability to protect the teeth against decay, not all forms of it are beneficial for the teeth. As a matter of fact, sodium fluoride is a by-product of aluminum manufacturers, and is also an ingredient of industrial pesticides and even rat poison. It is also known that ingesting 10% of an ounce of sodium fluoride could end up killing a 50 kg adult. Even a small amount could cause dizziness, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. Despite all these, sodium fluoride is still present in many leading brands of toothpaste.
Triclosan is a known antibacterial, which makes sense that it is included as an ingredient of toothpaste. However, it is also classified as a pesticide, and that it is a risk to the environment and human health. Furthermore, triclosan has been categorized as a chlorophenol, which has been suspected of increasing the risk of cancer.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate
As a cleansing agent and detergent, SLS has a wide range of possible health risks. The latter of the two, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, has the potential to irritate skin, damage the eyes, and result in labored breathing. Furthermore, it has been found that SLS can stay in the body for up to 5 days, and accumulates in the liver, lungs, heart and brain. Also, when combined with other harmful chemicals, SLS transforms to a powerful type of carcinogen known as nitrosamine.
Propylene Glycol is an active substance found in antifreeze, and acts as a surfactant and wetting agent in toothpaste. Authorities warn the public about Propylene Glycol being rapidly absorbed by the body, and prolonged contact can result in liver, kidney and brain abnormalities. Manufacturers do not allow their workers to work with this chemical with bare hands, and yet it is commonly found in our everyday products.
DEA or Diethanolamine
DEA is found in products that foam, and one of these is toothpaste. DEA affects the body by disrupting hormones and also helps promote cancer by stimulating the formation of cancer-causing nitrates. According to scientists, continuous and repeated exposure of the skin to DEA greatly increases the risk or kidney and liver cancer.
FD&C Color Dyes
These are the artificial dyes and colorings that are used in several toothpaste brands. Not only does it cause physical reactions such as allergies, asthma attacks, nausea, headaches, fatigue and even cancer, it can also trigger different learning, behavioral and health problems.
The next time you drop by the grocery store, don’t just grab any brand that you see. Carefully read the ingredient list and ensure that you aren’t putting harmful ingredients in your body. Contact Greenspoint Dental if you have concerns regarding your oral health.