The Drugs in Your Toothpaste Can Affect Your Health

One of the fastest ways to absorb anything into the body is through the mouth. Drugs such as nitroglycerine for heart conditions and natural homeopathic remedies are given under the tongue for fast absorption. Your daily routine of brushing your teeth with your favorite toothpaste may also be delivering a daily dose of antibiotics or other potentially toxic ingredients, without you realizing it.

Most people, even dentists and dental hygienists, don’t realize there is a warning on the back of most toothpastes (including many from health food stores). The warning is mandated by the FDA for active ingredients that are drug based. The most common ones are fluoride, antibiotics and other drugs used to prevent cavities, tartar or teeth sensitivity.

Even children’s toothpaste has a warning to “keep out of reach of children under the age of six. If more than used for brushing is swallowed, contact the poison control center or your physician”. If a child under the age of six swallows half a tube of the sparkly, bright colored toothpaste that tastes like bubble gum and contains fluoride, the result could virtually be deadly.

Besides fluoride and the potential for poisoning your child if large amounts are swallowed, most toothpaste contain saccharin and many other artificial additives. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is another ingredient to stay away from. Studies have reported there’s a potential for flare-ups of canker sores with SLS. Instead of choosing one of these types of commercial toothpastes for your child or you, providing your family with nutritious meals and brushing with “common sense” toothpaste, without potentially toxic ingredients, is much safer.

In recent years we’ve been hearing about the alarming increase of superbugs such as methicillin-resistant Staphlycoccus aureas (MRSA). The CDC and other studies list one cause for the rise of these antibiotic resistant bacteria to the general overuse of antibiotics. This overuse is not always in the form of a pill. You may be absorbing a small amount of an antimicrobial drug through your personal products as well.

Many brands of toothpastes, deodorants, shampoos, and soaps contain antibiotics, antimicrobials and strong disinfecting detergents. Triclosan, acetylpyridium chloride and tea tree oil are commonly used ones. Although natural, tea tree oil is a strong anti-fungal and antibiotic better suited for conditions such as athlete’s foot than in your moisturizer.

Antibiotics should only be prescribed if you have a serious infection. Informed consumers make wise buying decisions that aren’t based on pretty packages. Read, research and choose wisely for you and
your family.

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About the author

Flora Stay, D.D.S. has been a practicing dentist for over 30 years. She is the author and contributing author to books as well as magazines such as Total Health, Prevention, Men’s Health and others. She is currently an Associate Professor at U.S.C. School of Dentistry Dept. of Diagnostic Sciences. Visit her website for a free e-book “Product Labels: a cautionary tale” at