Tooth Powder

Want a good scare? Read the label on your toothpaste.

“If more than used for brushing is accidentally swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.”

“What!” you may be thinking, “if you expect me to brush with that you are out of your mind!” The fact is, you have probably been brushing with it your whole life. Most of us started with toothpaste long before we can even remember. Toothpaste was everywhere. Parents and dentists told us to use it. Bucky Beaver sang to us about it. Toothpaste was an institution and to question it a heresy. But today it is a brave new world and today we question institutions. It is time to read the label.

The health risks of some common toothpaste ingredients (These are listed on the box but not the tube):

SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) is a synthetic detergent and foaming agent commonly used in toothpaste. It makes nice foam, but is it worth it? Studies by the Department of Oral Surgery and Oral Medicine, Dental Faculty, University of Oslo, Norway, and other researchers, found that toothpaste containing SLS causes apthtous ulcers (canker sores).

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7825393  Sodium lauryl sulfate and recurrent aphthous ulcers. A preliminary study.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9656847 The effect of sodium lauryl sulfate on recurrent aphthous ulcers: a clinical study.

Tests show permanent eye damage in young animals from skin contact in non eye areas. Studies at Georgia Medical College indicated Sodium Lauryl Sulfate kept young eyes from developing properly by possibly denaturing the proteins and not allowing for proper structural formation. This damage was permanent. Other studies have indicated that Sodium Lauryl Sulfate enters and maintains residual levels in the heart, the liver, the lungs and the brain from skin contact. This poses question of it being a serious potential health threat to its use in shampoos, cleansers, and tooth pastes. Still other research has indicated SLS may be damaging to the immune system, especially within the skin. Skin layers may separate and inflame due to its protein denaturing properties.


Fluoride: “The presence of environmental fluoride and its impact on human health is well documented. When consumed in adequate quantity, fluoride prevents dental caries, assists in the formation of dental enamels, and prevents deficiencies in bone mineralization. At excessive exposure levels, ingestion of fluoride causes dental fluorosis, skeletal fluorosis, and manifestations such as gastrointestinal, neurological, and urinary problems.” How much fluoride are you getting from all sources? Does anyone really know?


Silica, which is used as an abrasive in “whitening” toothpastes, is made from a crystallized compound found in quartz, sand, and flint. Tooth enamel re-mineralizes daily from the supply of ionic calcium and phosphorus in the saliva. Scratching the surface of the tooth with an abrasive such as hydrated silica harms the enamel and prevents re-mineralization, much like using sand to clean glass. Severe wear can eventually occur.


Triclosan is a chemical used as an antimicrobial in toothpaste and also in underlayments that install under various types of flooring for the purpose of slowing or stopping the growth of bacteria, fungi, and mildew. Triclosan safety is currently under review by the FDA and Health Canada.


Propylene Glycol. Propylene glycol is sometimes mistaken for its close chemical relative, ethylene glycol, which is used as antifreeze and is toxic. The health risks of propylene glycol are probably debateable.


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