Toothpaste: hazardous to dental and bodily health?
Toothpaste ingredients which could harm your teeth, gums or body
Standard or conventional toothpastes though claimed to be THE products to use for best care of your teeth, actually have numerous drawbacks - similar to other synthetic blessings showered upon humanity, many of which have turned out to be harmful to both health and environment. Here is a (not necessarily complete) list, complemented by two powerful testimonials illustrating the potentially dramatic benefits to teeth and gums gained from switching from conventional chemical-laced toothpaste to an approach using natural and non-toxic "biocompatible" ingredients for dental cleaning.
Toxins such as fluoride, Triclosan etc.
Triclosan. Conventional toothpastes, among other toxins, can contain Triclosan, a chemical.germ killer/antibacterial (also found in mouthwashes, deodorants, soaps etc.). Triclosan belongs to a class of chemicals suspected of causing cancer in humans (even the US EPA apparently considers it a high risk factor to human health). Stored in bodily fat, it can suppress immune function and accumulate to toxic levels with resultant liver, kidney and lung damage. Triclosan is frequently contaminated with toxic dioxins.
Polyethylene glycols (PEG, added as a dispersant and to bind water) make the skin more pervious to noxious substances possibly containing bromine, iodine or chlorine, and are considered allergenic and/or potentially cancerogenic.
Fluoride, a highly toxic chemical, rather than helping teeth, seems to actually damage teeth by making them too hard and thus brittle. Also be aware that fluoride in its chemical form as used in water fluoridation is seriously implicated in cancer causation and can actually "ruin teeth".1
Fluoridated toothpaste damages gums. At the concentrations used in commercial fluoridated toothpaste (1,000 ppm), fluoride causes gum damage by poisoning enzyme activity and slowing down the gums' self-repair mechanisms. By brushing your teeth with fluoridated toothpaste, you gums will suffer damage (according to Dr. John Yiamouyiannis, an authority on fluoride's biological effects).2
Additionally, German toxicity expert Prof. Max Daunderer writes that amalgam from dental fillings is corroded by fluorine (including from fluoridated toothpaste and salt).
To help the body detoxify fluoride, increasing iodine levels has been found very helpful.
If you have ingested a lot of toxic fluoride (and there are, in addition to fluoridated dental "care" products, many other sources such as fluoridated water and any products grown or made with it, salt, milk, etc.4, try increasing your intake of iodine. Higher iodine levels in the body help the system to excrete toxic halogens such as fluoride and bromine in the urine (this has been systematically measured and verified).
If you use seaweed as your iodine source (generally, the use of iodised salt will not raise an iodine-deficient body's levels to a sufficient degree), you simultaneously ingest one of the richest sources of all known minerals and trace elements.
Surfactants (added as foaming agents). Studies have shown that toothpastes which produce a lot of lather due to the presence of the toxic chemical (detergent surfactant) sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS, aka sodium dodecyl sulfate or SDS) are actually bad for the gums. The foaming property strongly swells up the gums, which would tend to promote periodontosis (receding gums). (Other sources speak of surfactant concentrations above two percent possibly damaging the gums.)
Alternative dentist Dr. Georg Schnitzer writes that surfactants also increase the permeability of the capillaries and thus are a frequent cause of bleeding gums. Hermann Lauffer, author of "Unsere Zähne Opfer der Zivilisation" (Our Teeth Victims of Civilisation) adds that the softening of the gums increases their propensity to infection.
It would be best to use toothpaste without any surfactants, such as salt-based toothpastes (translated by © Healing Teeth Naturally from German sources). Or probably better, use toothpaste alternatives.
Additionally, sodium lauryl sulfate was found to cause the recurrence of aphthous ulcers (canker sores)5 and to diminish the perception of sweetness (for the latter see abstract under http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/bk-1985-0289.ch002).
According to Dr. Hulda Clark, toothpaste besides benzene pollution also contains tin and strontium. Compare Dr. Hulda Clark's instructions for brushing teeth and natural mouth care.
In spite of being cariogenic with prolonged use (according to research done by dentists at Hamburg university), sorbitol can be found as a sweetener in certain toothpastes.
What all such sugars apparently do is lower the pH of the dental plaque (more acidity = more damage to the tooth). If you find aspartame, be aware that it is toxic and has been connected to dozens of diseases incl. brain tumors.3
Dr. Joel Knapp DDS writes on the subject of chemicals found in many toothpastes, "I tell my patients, if you can't pronounce it, don't put it in your body. ... you'll sometimes see artificial sugars listed, too. These artificial sugars have been shown in some studies to cause changes in the tissue cells, and to slow down healing as much as sugar can and possibly more. We tell them to avoid toothpaste - to use baking soda, salt or just plain water."
According to Dr. Gerald F. Judd's research, it is very important to avoid all toothpastes containing glycerin since for teeth to be able to remineralize, the tooth surface needs to be clean and "accessible". This is prevented, however, by glycerin which covers the surface with a sticky and hard-to-remove substance. (These findings are controversial, however.) More on glycerin
1 Compare this powerful testimonial showing how simple brushing with salt water healed cavities that had formed while religiously using fluoride toothpaste and A personal abscess/swollen gum story (2): rotten molar & fluoride.
2 For important background on fluoride, see eg On water and toothpaste fluoridation: "Fluoride ruins teeth".
3 Compare Causes of cancer: aspartame.
4 See the list on this page showing the variety of products which can contain fluoride, at least when you live in a country such as the US which allows fluoridation of the water supply.
5 Compare Canker sores (aphtous ulcers or stomatitis): possible causes, natural and home remedies.
While these may be less or even non-toxic, nearly all health shop toothpastes also contain glycerin (at least in Germany). I've also read that a well-known 'holistic' toothpaste contains the toxic chemical sodium lauryl sulfate (see Surfactants). Bottom line advice: read your labels very carefully or preferably, go for one or several of the toothpaste alternatives.
Dramatic dental healing benefits gained from using natural, non-toxic or "biocompatible" cleaning agents & antimicrobials
The presence of the above-described tooth and gum toxins (fluoride, surfactants etc.) in conventional toothpaste may explain the following two dramatic "miracle" gum healing testimonials (both involving advanced periodontosis with loss of several teeth): all signs of chronic gum disease quickly and completely cleared up upon discontinuation of normal toothpaste and adoption of simple bar soap or herbal gum/tooth powders for dental cleaning:
In a similar vein, this powerful testimonial shows how simple brushing with salt water healed cavities that had formed while religiously using conventional fluoride toothpaste.