Modern toothpaste is a heavy mix of chemicals and synthetics to clean, polish and maintain healthy teeth and gums. But are those ingredients safe, or even necessary?
Many people these days live a healthier lifestyle. They reduce or even eliminate their bad fat intake, refined poisonous sugar, replace it with Stevia, (the plant is native to New Mexico, Arizona and Texas, but the best quality comes from plants in Brazil and Paraquay) Xylitol (naturally found in low concentrations in the fibers of many fruits and vegetables, commercially from birch tree and corncobs., Erythritol (occurs naturally in some fruits and fermented foods). Commercially produced from glucose by fermenting with yeast, cane sugar from sugar beets mainly from Brazil and India and Lakanto (is a natural blend of erythritol and monk fruit extract).
Try to avoid heavily processed food with artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners and chemicals such as aspartame, neotame, sodium saccharin, Splenda (sucralose, E955), MGG (Mono-sodium glutamate and there are more than 50 different names for it to deceive the public such like “natural flavor.” Research has shown it is a neurotoxin damaging the nervous system and brain, linked to hormonal imbalances, weight gain, obesity (which by now is an epidemic almost worldwide!) and a variety of other health problems. Eat more certified organic vegetables and fruits grown without toxic herbicide and pesticide spraying, chemical fertilizers, irradiation or going through a gas chamber. Also clean your home with non-toxic products.
But have you given any thoughts to what you are swishing around your mouth at least twice a day? It seems that toothpaste is almost as old as teeth and early population used abrasives like crushed oysters shells, bone and eggshells mixed with flavoring and powered charcoal. Later essential oils of peppermint, spearmint or cinnamon made brushing the teeth more pleasant and helped kill bacteria and germs the same time. Most commercial toothpastes have ingredients such as SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate), fluoride, PVMMA co-polymer, sodium laureth sulphate, sodium saccharin, artificial color etc. Let’s find out more about harmful synthetic chemicals ingredients in toothpastes:
Di-ethylene Glycol (DEG)
Is a non-ionic surfactant used in shampoo, cleaning products and toothpaste? Ethylene glycol groups are carcinogenic, mutagen, (capable of inducing mutation), causing adverse reactions or are toxic, absorb through the skin easily, and are hazardous if used on large areas of the body, ingestion can be fatal!
FD & C Blue No 1 & 2
These dyes are artificial colorings often found in familiar toothpaste brands and a wide variety of other products. Recent studies indicate that they can trigger a wide number of behavioral, comprehension and health issues and they may cause severe allergic reactions, asthma, headaches, nausea, fatigue, nervousness and cancer. They are derived from crude oil, synthesized from petroleum. These dyes may be absorbed within seconds through the skin and the lips, or through mucous membrane in the mouth. The mucosa lining inside the mouth has an absorption efficiency of more than 91% and these carcinogens get into your blood, brain, your cells in no time at all, especially when you consider most people use dental care products two to three times a day! Often used to dye pastes blue, most coal tar derivative are potential carcinogens, cause allergic reactions, teratogen (an agent or factor that causes malformation of an embryo) or toxic and has been known to produce malignant tumors at the site of injection and by ingestion in rats.
Is made from crystallized compounds found in quartz, sand and flint, used as abrasive and tooth whitener, which damages the tooth enamel. Tooth enamel re-mineralization daily from the store of ionic calcium and phosphorus in the in the saliva. Scratching the surface of the tooth with an abrasive like hydrated silica harms the enamel and prevents re-mineralization, much like using sand to clean glass. Severe wear may eventually occur. While these ingredients could abrogate tartar, and make teeth whiter in appearance, they also might do harm to dental health by altering the alkaline/acidic balance of the mouth, gum and tongue. Health hazards from chemicals and toxins in our oral hygiene products are the most circumventable of all the health hazards we face.
PVMMA Co polymer
A thickener, dispensing agent and stabilizer, it gives a soapy feel, highly irritating to eyes, skin and mucous membrane.
Propylene Glycol (PG)
Petrochemical absorbs quickly into the skin and irritates it. It is used in many personal care products as humectant, (moisturizer) surfactants (a substance that tends to reduce the surface tension of a liquid in which it is dissolved) and solvents. Also used in anti-freeze, it has been shown to cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage in laboratory animals. It may also cause delayed allergic reactions, acne, and contact dermatitis.
Sodium Laurel Sulphate (SLS)
This is a detergent, humectant (moisturizer), emulsifier and foaming agent. Do not get deceived if it says on the label “derived from coconut” it could not be further from the truth! It is a combination of lauryl alcohol and mineral sodium sulphate, followed by neutralization with sodium carbonate. It is found also in car wash soap, engine degreasers, garage floor cleaners, shampoo, conditioners, and shaving foams. It degenerates cell membranes and can change genetic information in cells (mutagen) and can damage the immune system. It is reported to cause eye irritation, skin rashes, hair loss, dandruff and allergic reactions. It penetrates into your eyes, brain, liver and remains there long term.
Sodium Laureth Sulphate
An ionic, negatively charged surfactant, a compound which reduces the surface tension in water, between water and another liquid, or between a liquid and a solid, classified as a wetting agent. It has ether added and is therefore irritating and toxic.
It is derived from hydrofluoric acid, made by reacting sulfuric acid with fluorspar, an ore rich calcium fluoride, a hazardous chemical. Did you know that fluoride is a main ingredient in rat poison? Despite fluoride being prescribed by allopathic doctors and used by dentists for over 50 years, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has never approved any fluoride product designed for ingestion safe or effective since fluoride is a cumulative poison, Additionally, a 1991 study stated that fluoride has been shown NOT to reduce cavities and scientists are linking it to dental fluorosis, arthritis, allergic reactions and about 10,000 avoidable death every year happen from cancer from fluoride and equivocal carcinogen according to the Federal Cancer Institute. On average, only 50% of the fluoride we ingest each day is excreted through the kidneys. The reminder accumulates in our bones, pineal gland, and other tissues. Researchers have linked fluoride to cancer, but no one has been listening! Fluoride is especially dangerous for young children who tend to swallow it after brushing their teeth. Many types of toothpastes contain enough fluoride in a 120ml (40z) tube to poison a young child that could be even fatal!
On some labels of toothpastes it says, “If large amount is swallowed call poison control center.” That is why toothpaste manufacturers include a warning on their labels “Not for children under the age of 6 years.” Fluoride can corrode the tooth enamel, when swallowed can lead to Crohn’s disease which also can be fatal! It does not reduce cavities and scientists are linking it to dental deformity. A report indicated that fluorosis can result in darkening or mottled teeth, compromised bone structure and a host of other problems including learning disabilities, kidney disease and brain lesions. For more information about the poisonous fluoride please check the website: http://www.thyroid.about/com/cc/toxicchemicalsan/a/flouoride.htm.
Remarks: Jane Shaak, member of the Health Action Network Society (www.hans.org) has been for years active fighting against fluoride in the water system in the Province of British Columbia and is succeeding since only two cities are still using it and the chances are that they too will eliminate in the future fluoride in their water!
Artificial sweetener, potential carcinogenic, currently evaluated by the National Toxicology program, mutagen, toxic or causes adverse reactions. Tests in the 1980s in rats developed bladder cancer, even the FDA list it as possible carcinogen.
Used as antimicrobial to prevent growth of harmful bacteria It is also called an anti-bacterial, anti-virus and anti-fungal and is used in a huge variety of household goods, personal care products such as anti-bacterial soaps, liquid hand soaps (is loaded with harmful chemicals), toothpaste, deodorants, processed food, clothing, dish soap, detergent, floor wash, counter and disinfection sprays, glass cleaners, mouthwash, laundry soaps, lotions, moisturizers, children’s toys and cleaning supplies.
Studies at the Institute of Odontology in Huddigen, Sweden, the Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, USA and the University of Victoria, Canada have shown triclosan may promote the emergence of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, creates allergy and asthma in children, can interfere with thyroid hormones and is a health hazard to humans in general and to wildlife as well. The American Medical Association suggests that consumers should check product ingredients for triclosan, tricocarban, quaternary ammonium and micro-ban to be avoided too. In some toothpastes are even aspartame, formaldehyde is a by-product of it. Artificial sweeteners such as saccharine, sorbitol, aspartame, neotame, splenda are added to toothpaste to mask the horrible chemical taste and they can cause these side-effects: headaches, dizziness, mood changes, vomiting or nausea, abdominal pains, diarrhea, memory loss, fatigue, numbness, joint pain, depression, anxiety, blurred vision, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, systemic lupus and various cancers.
These are just a few dangerous, hazardous chemical ingredients you will find in many commercial types of toothpaste, but here are other harmful ingredients found in toothpastes that create health problems. Therefore, “READ ALL INGREDIENTS ON THE LABELS”. If you can’t pronounce the name of the ingredients, it is most likely a harmful chemical and don’t buy it! There are a large number of toothpaste available on the market and the vast majority contain a variety of different harmful chemical ingredients. As alternative look for chemical-free toothpastes inclusive Neem toothpastes since they are a better solution for your gums and teeth. Check also the book “7 steps to dental health”, I am a co-author of the book.
Last not least here are some additional advise:
Use natural toothpaste with Xylitol that has shown to stop production of tooth decay and prevent bacteria from creating the acids that damage the teeth. It also enhances the re-mineralization of teeth, decreases plaque, and hardens the lining of untreated cavities making them less sensitive. Himalayan crystal salt is also crucial to proper oral care. It slows the formation of tartar and also helps prevent cavities. Most dental decay is caused by an over acidic mouth and throat flora. Himalayan salt brings the mouth flora back to a neutral, balanced state and will heal existing illnesses, rot or decay and prevent future occurrences. It also helps protect and regenerate enamel.
Essential oils like peppermint, spearmint, (mint flavored products), clove, cinnamon, anise, eucalyptus, rosemary and lemon (cinnamon spice flavored products) are extremely helpful I am cleansing the mouth and whitening the teeth. Good for preventing and treating gum disease, these oils help maintain healthy teeth and reduce cavities. They can also help in reducing pain from toothaches. The cinnamon flavored products also been proven to fight strep, staff and MRSA infections as well. This infection is caused by a strain of staph bacterial that’s become resistant to the antibiotics commonly used to treat ordinary staph infection. Most of the MRSA infections are not serious, however some of them ca be even life-treating.
Words of wisdom
Nature is slow but thorough, Natures cures, but she needs an opportunity. – author unknown
Angela Royston, Healthy teeth, Heinemann library 2003
Eward Miller, The teeth book, Holiday House, 2009
Victor Zeines, Adine Artemis, Holistic dental care, North Atlantic Books, 2013
Helen Frost, Food for healthy teeth, Pebble Books, 1998
Tom McGuire, Healthy teeth – healthy body, Dental Wellness Institute, 2009
Max Haroon, Dr. Oksana Sawika, Klaus Ferlow, 7 Steps to Dental Health, Life Transformation Institute, 2013.
Klaus Ferlow, Master Herbalist (HMH) & Herbal Advocate, (HA), author, innovator, lecturer, researcher, writer, founder of FERLOW BOTANICALS, Vancouver, B.C. and NEEM RESEARCH, Mission, B.C., member of the Health Action Network Society, Canadian Herbalist’s Association of BC., National Health Federation, International Herb Association, Plant Savers, Neem Foundation, Mumbai, India, co-author of the book “7 Steps to Dental Health.”, author of the book “Neem – Nature’s Healing Gift to Humanity,” www.neemresearch.ca, email@example.com.
This information is offered for its educational value and should not be used in the diagnoses, cure, treatment, or prevention of disease, please contact your health care provider.