by Dr. Pooneh Ramezani, DDS
The common toothpaste ingredient, triclosan, was once treasured for its antimicrobial properties.
The truth, however, is that triclosan can have some dangerous consequences.
Not only was triclosan originally labeled as a pesticide in the 1960s and banned in hand soaps back in 2017, new research now shows triclosan can cause gut inflammation and even colon cancer.
This can be alarming especially because it takes about 6 seconds for the delicate tissues of the mouth to absorb chemicals into the bloodstream.
Before we dive into a recent study involving the effects of triclosan, it’s important to know how this dirty ingredient can still be found in conventional toothpastes and how this chemical isn’t needed in order to achieve a healthy smile.
Why is Triclosan Still Found in Toothpaste?
Triclosan is an ingredient that first made its appearance in soaps used by doctors and surgeons before they conducted surgeries. It later found its way into personal care products like hand soaps, body washes and toothpastes.
If you remember seeing hand soaps with claims that said “kills 99.9% of bacteria,” on the bottle, it was most likely because triclosan was an active ingredient.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), however, didn’t find evidence proving that triclosan in consumer antibacterial soaps and body washes provided any benefit over washing with regular soap and water.
So, why is triclosan still found in toothpastes?
Well, big toothpaste companies argue that triclosan still provides antibacterial protection against gum disease and cavities.
The thing is, most people brush their teeth everyday twice a day. And if someone is using a toothpaste containing triclosan, that’s a whole lot of chemical exposure over time that could lead to serious consequences.
New Research Showing Triclosan’s Link to Gut Inflammation and Colon Cancer
Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and 13 other universities explored the effects of triclosan.
In these studies, triclosan was found to disrupt the gut microbiome AKA the good bacteria that’s found in your gut and colon that keeps you happy and healthy. Triclosan was also found to speed up the development of colitis, which is inflammation of the colon that could lead to abdominal pain, rectal bleeding and even tumors.
Knowing that triclosan interferes with our body’s digestive system is particularly alarming since colon cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the U.S.
But how can you reduce your exposure to triclosan? Ditch toothpastes containing this ingredient. Triclosan isn’t the end-all, be-all to help keep your smile cavity-free and reduce gingivitis.
How to Keep Your Smile and Gums Healthy Without Triclosan
In terms of cavity protection, the mechanical action of brushing off plaque with a toothbrush is far more effective in preventing cavities than a single ingredient.
And toothpastes with natural ingredients, like Dr. Brite, that are formulated with nourishing, clean ingredients can help reduce the symptoms of gingivitis. A fantastic ingredient to soothe sore, tender gums that is found in our toothpastes, mouthwashes and oral sprays is vitamin C. This antioxidant helps encourage the production of collagen to heal gums.
Our team at Dr. Brite carefully chooses each nurturing ingredient to have a specific purpose to help you achieve the healthiest smile. Not only can you have great tasting oral care that’s made without toxins, it’s truly effective in protecting your smile.
We hope you enjoyed this article and that it opened your eyes to the reality of triclosan. If you ever have any questions, feel free to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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