Toxic substances in toothpaste

The pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry is constantly bombarding us with new ads of great toothpaste; irreplaceable in a fight against caries, hypersensitivity, hyperpigmentation, or gum disease.

The producers inform about the advantages of toothpaste willingly in advertisements, on their websites, etc.

However, you can only learn, what really is contained in the product, on the back of the box, in a small print and in a language unknown to most people.

According to the law, producers are obliged to inform about all substances added to toothpaste.

At the beginning of the list of ingredients, you can find the substances that the product contains the most of and at the end those that are contained in small amounts.

However, it should be remembered that some substances have very strong effects already at very low concentrations and vice versa – other substances can work effectively in large amounts.

The effect of harmful substances in toothpaste varies and depends on many factors:

  1. Harmful local effects in contact with tooth tissues and mucous membrane,
  2. the degree of absorption of the substance through the oral mucosal absorption,
  3. the amount of toothpaste swallowed,
  4. the degree of absorption of swallowed toothpaste in the gastrointestinal tract,
  5. the degree of excretion of substances from the body.

List of harmful substances in toothpaste

Below is a list of the most common harmful or potentially harmful substances used in toothpaste:

Fluoride compounds

(Sodium Fluoride, Monofluorophosphate, Olaflur, Tin Fluoride, Stannic Fluoride, Stannous Fluoride, Amine Fluoride, Silver Diamine Fluoride, Monoamino Fluorophosphate, etc.)

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, SLS, SDS

Foaming agent and detergent. It denatures proteins, reacts with proteins to form complexes. It causes or increases inflammation of the gums and oral mucosa, which also increases the risk of cancer. Applied to the skin, it triggers inflammation of the skin, including atopic dermatitis.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine

Foaming substance, detergent. Acts similarly to SLS, but it is less irritating. Increases the risk of cancer. The presence of this substance in the composition with SLS is particularly dangerous.

PEG (Pluronic, Poloxamer, PEG, PPG, PEG-PPG-PEG, Polyethylene Glycol, Polypropylene Glycol)

Foaming substance, detergent. A highly toxic and carcinogenic product for the cells. It increases the number of inflammatory factors in the oral mucosa and gums, thus causing inflammation or inflaming the existing ones. It increases the permeability of tissues, thus causing greater permeability of mucous membranes and skin for harmful substances. Harmful PEG also includes compounds such as: Acrylates / Steareth-20, Methacrylate Copolymer, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Myreth Sulfate.

Sodium Myristoyl Sarcosinate

Foaming substance, detergent. It causes irritation of the skin and mucous membranes.

Choline Salicylate

It has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antipyretic properties. People allergic to aspirin should be careful when it comes to this ingredient, as often this allergy affects the entire salicylate group. It may aggravate the symptoms of existing gastric or duodenal ulcer disease and bronchial asthma. In children under 12 years old, it can cause Rey’s disease (pathological changes mainly in the brain and liver). It should not be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding because it passes through the placental barrier and is present in breast milk.


A substance with antibacterial and preservative properties. It also has carcinogenic effects. As shown in animal studies, it disturbs the normal development of the body through interactions with thyroid hormones. The result is a negative impact on the entire hormonal balance of the body, disturbances in homeostasis, lowering of body temperature, depression effect on the central nervous system (brain). It has an irritating effect and it accumulates in adipose tissue. It also increases bacterial resistance to antibiotics.


It has a strong antibacterial effect. If it is used over two weeks, it causes discoloration on the teeth. It causes irritation of the skin and mucous membranes, which increases the risk of cancer formation.

Potassium nitrate

Popular ingredient of toothpaste, it is used for tooth hypersensitivity. It closes the dentinal tubules, thus removing tooth hypersensitivity. It is irritating to the skin, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, oral cavity.

Strontium chloride

A measure against tooth hypersensitivity. It accumulates in the bones as a calcium antagonist, which increases their fragility. Studies in rats also showed a decrease in the pituitary gland mass in females.

Carboxyvinylpolymer, Carbomer, Carbopol 934, 2-propenoic acid, homopolymer, 2-Propenoic acid

Stabilizing and thickening substance. It has irritating properties on the skin and mucous membranes.

Methylparaben, Propylparaben

Preservatives. They cause irritation of the skin and mucous membranes, including atopic dermatitis. They promote cancer. They accumulate in the body and behave similarly to hormones.

Polyaminopropyl Biguanide

Preservative. It has a bactericidal and fungicidal effect. Potentially toxic if inhaled.


Preservative. It causes urticaria and eczema on the skin.

Benzyl Alcohol

Preservative and irritant. It is easily absorbed through the skin and mucous membranes, toxic especially for infants, neurotoxic, causes allergies, which may appear even 2-3 days after the contact with benzyl alcohol.

Titanium Dioxide, CI 77891

White dye. It causes oxidative stress for the cells, inflammation, damage to epithelial cells, damages cellular DNA. Titanium dioxide has been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as “carcinogenic to humans” and recognized as a carcinogen by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in the USA.

CI 42090

Blue dye. Carcinogenicity confirmed on the animal tests.

CI 19140

Yellow dye. Studies in rats have demonstrated its special toxicity to hematopoietic organs (bone marrow, spleen, thymus, lymph nodes) in both sexes. It causes hyperactivity in children.

Sodium Saccharin

This sweetener is banned in many countries due to its carcinogenic properties.


A fragrance with analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties. In excess, it can cause erythema or ulceration of mucous membranes. May cause damage to the liver – toxic dose is 0.5-1g / kg body weight.

Sodium Benzoate

Preservative. Carcinogenic, especially in combination with ascorbic acid and potassium benzoate. It causes hyperactivity in children.


Stabilizing substance. May cause allergies, is potentially carcinogenic.

Pentylene glycol

Prevents drying of the product, has an irritating effect.

Potassium Thiocyanate

A stabilizing substance, the abuse of which can affect the endocrine and nervous systems.

Dr. Paulina Zgoda 

From Author:

I recommend making your own toothpaste. I have been using it for several years and I have no problems with my teeth or mouth:

▪ 1/2 glass of coconut oil.

▪ 1/3 glass of baking soda.

▪ A few drops of peppermint oil or an oil of your choice.

Mix well.

Put the paste into small glass containers.

The container that my family uses stays in the bathroom, the rest of them are kept in the fridge. Another thing, we also rinse the mouth once a week with the following mixture:

for one part of hydrogen peroxide, three parts of water.

Rinse the mouth once a week with this mixture to eliminate bad bacteria.

 Kasia BrzozaKasia Brzoza

Form by (e)NeTes

Foto: NomadSoul1


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