Toothpaste is undoubtedly the commonly used product for both dental and oral hygiene. Nevertheless, a higher number of individuals are not aware that toothpaste can cause allergies. Although toothpaste allergies are not as common as normal allergies, they pose serious problems for people who are allergic to toothpaste. It is, therefore advisable for individuals who suffer allergic reactions from the use of toothpaste, to seek proper attention to curb their issue.
Toothpaste Allergy vs. Oral Allergy
There is a major difference between toothpaste allergy and oral allergy. While toothpaste allergy occurs during or after using toothpaste, oral allergy, on the other hand, is a family of food allergy that occurs as a cross-reaction when the patient’s body cannot distinguish between raw food protein and a pollen protein. The likely hood of occurrence of oral allergy is during the pollen season. Oral allergy syndrome is also known as fruit, vegetable, throat, mouth or cross-reaction allergies.
Symptoms of Toothpaste Allergies
Cheilitis and Toothpaste Allergy
This is one of the main symptoms that are linked to toothpaste allergy. Cheilitis is characterized by the appearance of cracks on the mouth and the formation of wounds in the mouth. People suffering from cheilitis also have a dry mouth with pus oozing from the edges of the mouth. Cheilitis is also caused by yeast infection.
Learn more about cracked lip corners
Toothpaste allergy may manifest itself as a form of rash around the mouth. The lips also turn red and form blisters.
Perioral dermatitis, also known as periorificial dermatitis, are rashes similar to the ones formed in contact dermatitis but have a distinctive scaly appearance.
Blisters and Canker Sores
Toothpaste allergy may cause the formation of painful mouth ulcers that are sensitive to citric drinks and spicy food.
When we brush our teeth, we unintentionally ingest toothpaste. People who are allergic to toothpaste may develop gastrointestinal issues after ingesting toothpaste.
Allergic hives or urticaria appear on and in the mouth as swollen wheals that itch and cause discomfort.
Anaphylactic and Angioedema Shocks
Anaphylactic shock is a fatal allergic reaction which causes the body’s immune system to secrete chemical components that lead to allergic symptoms. When a person allergic to toothpaste uses toothpaste, he or she is more likely to get an anaphylactic shock. The quickest way to reduce the effects of analytic shock is by administering epinephrine to the patient. Angioedema shock has similar symptoms as the ones seen in urticaria. It causes the throat to swell, causing problems in breathing.
Toothpaste allergy is also associated with severe itching of the face and lips, especially during or after using toothpaste.
Toothpaste allergy manifests itself through gum inflammation in which the gums swell and bleed during or after using toothpaste. The gums may also be sore for an extended period if proper treatment is not administered.
Skin Irritation Caused by Toothpaste Allergies
Toothpaste and other dental hygiene products contain sodium lauryl sulfate that can cause perioral dermatitis.
Causes of Toothpaste Allergies
Toothpaste flavoring is one of the leading causes of toothpaste allergies. Flavors like mint and cinnamon are commonly used in toothpaste and may lead to gum inflammation or cheilitis when used by some people.
Most industrial products contain preservatives that contain chemicals that may affect people when used either in small or large quantities. Toothpaste contains propylene glycol and parabens that may cause allergic reactions when used by some people. Sodium benzoate and cocamidopropyl betaine are also examples of toothpaste preservatives that are known to cause allergic reactions.
The foaming properties of toothpaste depend on a chemical known as sodium lauryl sulfate, which in most cases is known to irritate inside and outside the mouth.
These include essential oils present in the toothpaste, e.g., Tea tree oil, grape extract, and coconut oil. Other additives include parabens and papain.
Common allergic reactions caused by toothpaste are linked to fluoride, which is abundantly present in toothpaste. Fluoride is known to cause the swelling of lips and gums, dermatitis, and irritation inside the mouth.
The Prevention of Toothpaste Allergies
The best way of dealing with toothpaste allergies is to seek medical attention as soon as the symptoms appear. Proper diagnosis by a dentist will not only help in reducing any further damage caused by toothpaste allergy but also assist in the prevention of future situations related to toothpaste allergies.
Here are some of the prevention measures that might help in the prevention of toothpaste allergies:
Washing off Toothpaste Residue
This involves thoroughly washing off the toothpaste residue from both the face and mouth after brushing the teeth.
Using Toothpaste that Contains Fewer Ingredients
Use toothpaste that contains fewer ingredients and identify the safest toothpaste brand by sampling different toothpaste brands. This will help in narrowing down on the toothpaste brand that will not cause allergic reactions.
Avoid Fluoridated Toothpaste
Since fluoride triggers allergic reactions, it is best to avoid fluoridated toothpaste.
The Use of Fewer Amount of Toothpaste
Using a smaller amount of toothpaste will help in the reduction of allergic reactions caused by some of the components in the toothpaste.
Natural Toothpaste for Allergy Sufferers
The use of natural toothpaste alternatives may assist in preventing toothpaste allergies, bearing in mind that the ingredients used to make the natural toothpaste must endanger the health of the user. Some examples of natural toothpaste are sea-salt and coconut oil. They both have antibacterial components.
Toothpaste without flavor is manufactured for the sole purpose of reducing cases of toothpaste allergies. Avoid using toothpaste that contains mint and carvone.
Using Hypoallergenic Toothpaste
Hypoallergenic toothpaste is toothpaste that is unlikely to induce an allergic reaction to the user. Some examples of hypoallergenic toothpaste available in the market are; Logona Oral Care Sensitive Toothpaste, and Toms of Maine Rapid Relief Sensitive Natural Toothpaste.
I am Allergic to Toothpaste, What can I use?
Here is how to Use the different types of natural toothpaste.
There are various types of natural toothpaste that different people use as a substitute to toothpaste that contains allergens. Some have positive effects on the body, while others do more harm than good. Here are examples of safe, natural toothpaste:
In many situations, sea salt has been used as an antibacterial agent. There two methods of using sea salt as a natural toothpaste. One of the methods is to apply a pinch of salt directly to the teeth, use the brush to clean the teeth, and rise the mouth with clean water. The second method involves dissolving the sea salt in water and using the salty water to cleaning the teeth and mouth (with the aid of a toothbrush).
The use of baking soda as a natural toothpaste is similar to using sea salt for the same purpose. Great caution must be considered by people who have teeth fillings as the baking soda can aid in releasing the poisonous mercury from the metallic fillings to the body.
Herbal Tooth Powders
Herbal tooth powders not only help in preventing bacterial infections in the mouth but also reduce pain caused by teeth and gum diseases.
This is one of the simplest natural methods of cleaning the mouth and teeth. It involves brushing the teeth with clean water only. The significant difference between dry brushing and using any other ordinary toothpaste is that the aftermath of dry brushing lacks the minty feeling which is usually experienced after using most regular kinds of toothpaste.
Allergic Reaction to Sensodyne Toothpaste
I have come across a few complaints about the adverse reactions to Sensodyne toothpaste and other toothpaste made to relieve tooth sensitivity. I have used Sensodyne before and my teeth and gum were okay. How about you guys? Tell us about your bad toothpaste experiences in the comment section.