May be Harmful if Swallowed

May be Harmful if Swallowed

The Truth about Toothpaste, Toothbrushes & Mouthwash.

A bit of a read but worth it!

When you were growing up, everyone certainly brushed their teeth with toothpaste which was considered a good habit required to have a clean mouth and prevent cavities. You may have been repeatedly advised that if you floss and go to the dentist twice a year, you will have good dental health. Even so, many people discovered that despite their good habits, they still had dental problems like cavities, bleeding gums, bad breath and more.

So we are going to talk about Toothpaste...

If toothpaste is the magic cleaner for our teeth, why do most brands come with a big warning label "may be harmful if swallowed"? Sounds mad doesn't it.....

The chemicals in commercial toothpastes are not what you want to put in your mouth..the synthetic ingredients are more appropriate for industrial purposes than for cleaning your delicate tissue or for cultivating oral health. Brushing with these chemicals may actually be harmful to our health. After all anything we put in our mouths is absorbed into the body through the mouth's mucous membranes; this is especially true if you have bleeding gums, when anything in the mouth has direct access to the bloodstream. 

Now for the scary bit...

Inside the mouth, the moist tissues of the skin wall, or epithelium, are only one cell thick. These synthetic chemicals and substances may lead to decomposing collagen, hinder hormones, damage the delicate epithelium, disturb microfloras in the digestive tract, and ultimately encourage poor health.

Here are some of the chemicals commonly found in toothpaste that may indeed be harmful if swallowed...

contrary to marketing and media madness, tooth decay is not caused by fluoride deficiency. Concerns have arisen regarding fluoride’s effect on health, including problems with bones, teeth, and neurological development. Fluoride comes from fluroine, which is a common, natural, and abundant element. It accumulates in the body especially in the pineal gland, can lower IQ, reduce enzyme activity, disrupt collagen production...the list goes on. You can read more here.

this clear, slick gel is widely used as it is an inexpensive filler and carrier for the other ingredients. It is made from a mix of dried vegetables that are repeatedly processed, bleached & deodorised giving a viscous fluid. Glycerin coats the teeth and blocks the saliva from doing its primary job of remineralising the enamel. Though most sites will say it is safe... why does a major brand then say it is safe but may be harmful if swallowed...

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS):
used to create that foamy effect but SLS is one of the sulfates known to be a skin irritant, hormone & endocrine disruptor, suspected carcinogen. SLS is known to break down the skin's natural barrier and cause bleeding gums. It also allows other chemicals to penetrate by increasing skin permeability extensively. This again from a major brand... read the concerns which will of course be played down as it is in their toothpaste.

Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate  :

First, tetrasodium pyrophosphate in a dentifrice (toothpaste) forms a slightly alkaline solution upon oral use which could irritate oral membranes. Second, increased concentrations of flavouring agents, known to be sensitisers, are needed to mask the strong bitter taste of pyrophosphates. Third, increased concentrations of detergents, capable of producing hypersensitivity reactions, are necessary to allow the pyrophosphates to become soluble in the dentifrice. Fourth, a pre-existing condition of reduced salivary flow may augment hypersensitivity to tartar control toothpastes. While pyrophosphates have been approved as additives in dentifrices, these compounds along with the increased concentrations of flavourings and detergents and their higher intraoral alkalinity are strongly implicated as the causative factor in certain hypersensitivity reactions.

Artificial Sweetners:

Saccharin, sorbitol and xylitol are added to improve the flavour of toothpaste. Saccharin is a petroleum-based sugar substitute that was linked to cancer back in the 1970s. Sorbitol is manufactured by reducing glucose and has no nutritional value. Xylitol is found in many fruits & veggies and for industrial uses it is manufactured from hardwood trees and corncobs. 

Neither Sorbitol or Xylitol are completely absorbable so if they are swallowed, they can cause a range of gastrointestinal problems,espcially in children, including diarrhoea, addominal pain and bloating. 

Why are my gums bleeding???

One of the most common issues and this is the body's way of responding to bacteria invading the mouth. As it is so common, we do tend to ignore it and attribute it to sensitive teeth. We are then convinced by the industry that all we need to do is buy a product for sensitive teeth. However symptoms are only being masked as these types of toothpastes anesthetize the mouth without healing the sensitive teeth or the bleeding or receeding gums. If you have bleeding gums - and some of the surfactants in toothpaste actually cause the gums to bleed, anything in the mouth will have immediate access to the bloodstream.

One of the most important steps in successful dental self-care is to stop using all commercial products and replace them with salt, baking soda, a dry tooth brush and botanical remedies that can begin the healing process.

So what to do now?

Make the switch to natural, non toxic toothpastes that prevent nasty issues to your teeth or gums not to mention your general health.

If you, like me (Lou), grew up thinking that the hotter and mintier the toothpaste, the more it left that zinging, burning in your mouth, then the better it worked, please don't think like that anymore.  

The problem I later faced?  Bleeding gums, a couple of crumbled, broken teeth and some emergency fillings. Make the switch and remember, not only are your teeth so important for eating, they also make up your beautiful smile and kind of hold your face together!! 

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