We tend to have high expectations for the products we use to clean our teeth. We want a pleasant taste coupled with excellent cleaning power. We want fresh breath and shiny, white smiles. Most of all, we expect our toothpaste to leave our mouth healthier than before we used it. But, what happens when our mouth is not as healthy after brushing? Is it possible that our toothpaste choice could be making our gums hurt? Unfortunately, it is possible.
Some people are more sensitive to ingredients in toothpaste and are apt to develop irritated gums or sores from certain kinds of toothpaste. Also, some ingredients found in certain brands of toothpaste are more likely to cause irritation. The good news is changing your toothpaste to a less irritating toothpaste can quickly improve the health of sensitive gums while keeping teeth in peak health.
It’s long been known that whitening treatments can cause tooth sensitivity, but it may come as a surprise to you that certain whitening toothpastes can cause gum pain. In most cases, it’s believed that the abrasives designed to clean surface stains off the tooth can irritate the gums if you brush too aggressively. However, peroxide, the most common bleaching agent in tooth whitening, is known to irritate gum surfaces. Toothpastes that contain peroxide may irritate gum tissues.
If whitening toothpastes are rubbing your gums the wrong way, consider speaking to your dentist about other whitening options and switch to a gentler, low abrasion tooth cleanser.
Tartar control toothpastes commonly contain a chemical called pyrophosphate. In sensitive people, that can cause uncomfortable burning or tissue sloughing in the mouth. Tissue sloughing is where areas of the mouth peel off more quickly, which can cause small sores. Hexylresorcinol, an ingredient for plaque control, may also cause irritation.
Visit your dentist regularly to avoid tartar build-up and switch to a tooth cleaner without pyrophosphate. If a week with a non-tartar control toothpaste clears up your uncomfortable mouth sores, it was probably the toothpaste causing your problem.
Unfortunately, some people are very sensitive to the very things designed to make toothpaste easier to use—the flavorings. Dermatologists report that it is possible to have an allergic contact reaction to toothpaste ingredients. Mint and menthol are common causes of toothpaste allergic reactions, followed by cinnamon extracts used in cinnamon flavored toothpaste and rinses.
You are not restricted to mint or cinnamon flavored toothpastes. CariFree CTx4 1100 gels are available in citrus and grape flavor in addition to mint, so if you find those flavors irritating, you still have options. Several all-natural kinds of toothpaste also offer alternate flavor choices (like anise).
If your gums are bothering you and you don’t have gum disease, consider changing your toothpaste. It just might change your health for the better.