Although it’s hard to believe, brushing your teeth with certain kinds of toothpaste could increase the risk of cancer. Several commercial toothpastes contain chemicals that have been linked to possible oral and breast cancers, neural and cardiac ailments, as well as mouth irritations, gum damage and even environmental pollution.
Recent studies have shown that the chemicals such as triclosan and fluoride present in your average toothpaste have harmful effects that outweigh its benefits.
Chemicals In Your Toothpaste You Need To Watch For
Studies have shown that most kinds of toothpaste contain fluoride, which is used to prevent cavities. Fluoride is used in most dental products as a cleaning agent, but in reality can be quite dangerous. The American Dental Association supports the use of fluoride for preventative dental care. Almost 95% of the toothpastes sold in the US contains fluoride.
Triclosan is used in some toothpastes to prevent gum disease and was considered safe to use as it was approved in 1997 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). But the toxicology documents used by the FDA to approve the toothpaste reveal that the FDA relied upon company-backed science to reach its conclusion. The report reveals that the FDA had concerns that triclosan may increase the risk of cancer.
A 2010 study linked triclosan, which has been widely used to reduce bacteria contamination, to reduced fertility in mice. Another recent 2013 study linked it to lowered sperm production in rats. In 2003, 2517 Americans, including children, were tested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This study found triclosan in the urine of 75 percent of the participants.
Harmful Effects Of Triclosan
Many studies have linked triclosan to a range of adverse health and environmental effects from skin irritation, endocrine disruption, bacterial and compounded antibiotic resistance, to the contamination of water and its negative impact on fragile aquatic ecosystems.
Various animal studies conducted on triclosan showed that it has a major effect on the hormone balance of mammals. It negatively affects the male and female hormones such as testosterone and estrogen as well as our thyroid system. Widespread use of triclosan may represent a potential public health risk in regard to the development of concomitant resistance to clinically important antimicrobials.1
Today, triclosan is found in numerous consumer products such as antibacterial soaps, deodorants, toothpaste, cosmetics, fabrics, toys, and other household and personal care products. Side-effects of triclosan include liver problems, depression, and even cancer! In 2010, the European Union banned triclosan in materials that come into contact with food.
Do You Require Fluoride In Your Toothpaste?
Yes, fluoride is necessary for your toothpaste as it is effective in keeping away dental caries. Today, most leading toothpaste brands contain fluoride, which is often called as Nature’s cavity fighter. Fluoride, a naturally-occurring mineral, helps prevent cavities by making the outer surface of the teeth more resistant to the acid attacks that cause tooth decay.
Although it is used to prevent dental caries, fluoride exposure may increase dental caries risk in malnourished children due to calcium depletion and enamel hypoplasia, while offering modest caries prevention in otherwise well-nourished children. Using pastes that contain high levels of fluoride, the enamel flakes and wears faster, causing severely fractured enamel.
The adverse effects of fluoride in causing brittle teeth has been recognized in laboratory animals since 1933. Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health and China Medical University in Shenyang found strong indications that fluoride may also adversely affect cognitive development in children.2
Chemicals That Causes Mouth Ulcers
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is a chemical found in 85 percent of toothpastes and is used as a wetting agent. It helps the paste to spread more easily and allows the peppermint oil used for flavoring to mix with the water contained in the paste. Without SLS, these elements will separate in the tube.
One major drawback with SLS is that it opens up the gaps between the skin cells in the mouth, which allows toxins or carcinogens to enter the body. Oral mucosa is one of the most delicate tissues in our body and SLS is effectively a detergent.
SLS can cause irritation, abrasions, and breaches in the skin inside the mouth, which cause chronic mouth ulcers. People suffering from recurrent mouth ulcers must use toothpastes that are devoid of SLS.
Teeth Whitening Chemicals That Affect Gums
Teeth whitening toothpastes use peroxides and hydrogen peroxide to bleach the teeth. They are known to be toxic and irritant to all soft tissues. They damage the mucous membranes in the mouth and can cause harm to the surface cells of the gums. Moreover, the levels and concentrations of these chemicals in the various products are not sufficient to whiten the teeth effectively.
|↑1||Yazdankhah, Siamak P., Anne A. Scheie, E. Arne Høiby, Bjørn-Tore Lunestad, Even Heir, Tor Øystein Fotland, Kristine Naterstad, and Hilde Kruse. “Triclosan and antimicrobial resistance in bacteria: an overview.” Microbial drug resistance 12, no. 2 (2006): 83-90.|
|↑2||Peckham, Stephen, and Niyi Awofeso. “Water fluoridation: a critical review of the physiological effects of ingested fluoride as a public health intervention.” The Scientific World Journal 2014 (2014).|