Do You Have a Toothpaste Allergy
You’ve heard of peanut and pollen allergies, but is it possible for you to be allergic to toothpaste? Read on to learn about toothpaste allergy symptoms and what ingredients in your toothpaste might be causing them.
Wait, Can You Really Be Allergic to Toothpaste?
Yes, you can be allergic to toothpaste, although it isn’t very common. Toothpastes contain ingredients that may be potential allergens to you. The most common causes of a toothpaste allergy are the flavoring agents—notably minty flavors—and additives that can help the toothpaste stay fresh and improve its texture, but as you’ll see below, there can be other causes.
In any case, you can indeed be allergic to toothpaste. The question is: how do you know if this pertains to you?
What Are the Symptoms of a Toothpaste Allergy?
The symptoms of a toothpaste allergy may vary, depending on the underlying cause and how sensitive you are. Signs you may have a toothpaste allergy can include:
- Little red bumps or blisters around your mouth
- Swollen gums after brushing
- Itchy or burning sensation in your mouth
- Tongue irritation
- Cracking or chapped lips
If you have a red rash or small bumps or blisters around the mouth, known as perioral dermatitis, you may be sensitive to or allergic to your toothpaste. Although toothpaste isn't the only cause of perioral dermatitis, you can try switching toothpaste and seeing if it clears up. See your doctor or dermatologist if the rash persists.
Many of these other possible symptoms of a toothpaste allergy can also be caused by other things, like brushing too hard or dehydration. However, your toothpaste could be the issue. Note that with toothpaste allergies, the symptoms inside the mouth are generally more rare. Again, make a trip to your dentist if you’re experiencing these symptoms when brushing your teeth.
What Ingredients in Toothpaste Cause Allergies?
Wondering why you suddenly seem allergic to toothpaste? Any of the ingredients below could be the cause of allergy symptoms in some people, although most of these are uncommon.
- Flavoring agents: According to a recent study, flavoring was the most common allergen contributing to symptoms, notably mint or cinnamon and other derivatives.
- Cocamidopropyl Betaine (CAPB): This is a coconut-oil-based surfactant that helps thicken the paste and encourage foaming.
- Propylene Glycol: Helps to smooth out the texture in toothpastes.
- Artificial dyes: Sometimes added to toothpastes for color, these can cause a reaction in some people.
- Parabens: These are often used as preservatives in toothpaste and other personal care items.
- Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS): Another somewhat uncommon allergen could be the sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) in your toothpaste, though you can choose toothpastes without SLS.
- Gluten: Although many toothpastes today are gluten-free, it’s possible your toothpaste may cause symptoms in people sensitive to gluten.
- Fluoride: Helps guard against cavities and tooth decay while protecting your enamel, but some people can be sensitive to fluoride.
If you cannot isolate a potential allergen on your own, consult your doctor and see what they recommend.
What Should I Do if I Suddenly Develop a Toothpaste Allergy?
Say you are experiencing sudden symptoms associated with a toothpaste allergy and are wondering how to address the issue; the most straightforward thing to do is switch toothpaste to a fluoride-free toothpaste.
It’s totally acceptable to use your kids’ toothpaste, and you may consider it if you might be allergic to flavoring agents. Children’s toothpaste formulas swap the mint for a fruity flavor that may not cause a reaction – and tastes great, too.
You can opt for a toothpaste without SLS or fluoride-free toothpaste if you see a red rash bumps or bumps around the mouth after brushing. Just remember that fluoride helps remineralize weak spots in your enamel and aids in protecting your teeth against acids in your mouth, so you should only make the switch if you are experiencing symptoms.
If you’ve tried switching toothpastes and it has not made a difference, consult your physician. You may need further testing to determine the root and severity of your allergy.
What is Cheilitis and is My Toothpaste Causing It?
Cheilitis is an inflammatory skin condition marked by irritated, cracked sores on one or both corners of your mouth. It is sometimes confused with cold sores, but cold sores are caused by a herpes virus and are contagious, while cheilitis is not.
It is possible that cheilitis can be triggered by a toothpaste allergy. Check with your doctor to see whether you have cheilitis and if it might be attributed to a toothpaste allergy. You may be advised to switch toothpastes, or your physician may suggest a topical steroid cream.
Why Does My Mouth Burn When I Brush My Teeth
A burning sensation in your mouth may occur because of excessive brushing of your tongue, using abrasive toothpastes, consuming a lot of acidic drinks, or overusing mouthwash. Just because your mouth burns does not necessarily mean you have a toothpaste allergy.
It’s also possible you have especially sensitive teeth. This can stem from problems with your sensory nerves, or things like tooth decay from excess plaque buildup or worn tooth enamel. If you are someone with sensitive teeth, consider switching to ARM & HAMMER™ Sensitive Teeth & Gums. It has lower abrasivity that is gentler on your enamel while still helping to protect against cavities and control tartar.
Can Gluten Cause a Toothpaste Allergy?
Although most toothpaste brands claim to be gluten-free, it’s possible that different formulas have trace amounts of gluten that could trigger an allergy.
ARM & HAMMER™ toothpastes do not contain gluten as an ingredient in their formulations, and gluten is not added to them directly. ARM & HAMMER™ toothpastes are also manufactured on lines that are not shared with gluten products. Vendors that supply raw materials used in ARM & HAMMER™ toothpastes may or may not meet these same standards.
ARM & HAMMER™ Toothpastes Can Help You Navigate Your Allergy
Don’t let a toothpaste allergy keep you from maintaining good dental habits! Whether you’re susceptible to certain flavoring allergens, SLS or gluten, choose from the diverse line of ARM & HAMMER™ toothpastes to find the formula you need.
See These Resources If You’re Chomping at the Bit for More Information
Tips to freshen things up
Be Sensitive to Your Teeth
Avoid citrus and acidic foods that may trigger tooth sensitivity.
Change is Good
Replace your brush every 3 months so bristles are still effective at fighting plaque and decay.
Fight Plaque 2X a Day
Plaque forms quickly, so brush twice a day to help protect your enamel — and your smile.
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