Side Effects of Fluoride in Toothpaste | Fully Explained!

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral present in water sources and is widely used in oral care products to prevent tooth decay. However, consuming large amounts of fluoride poses significant health implications. We will cover the  side effects of fluoride in toothpaste, especially when taken in large quantities.


     Key Takeaways

  • Fluoride is an essential mineral that prevents tooth decay and strengthens bones when consumed correctly.
  • Dental fluorosis, thyroid problems, neurological issues, and skeletal fluorosis are some of the negative effects of consuming large doses of fluoride.
  • TheFood and Drug Administration (FDA) requires manufacturers to include a poison warning on all fluoride toothpaste packages.
  • If you consume immoderate amounts of fluoride, visit a medical professional who can monitor vital signs, including temperature, breathing rate, and blood pressure.



Dr. Brite provides a variety of fluoride-free toothpaste and mouthwash. Made from natural ingredients such as leaf juice and coconut oil, our oral hygiene products are clinically proven to protect oral health. So, what are the key side effects of fluoride in toothpaste? Let's find out.

What Are the Side Effects of Fluoride In Toothpaste?

Most individuals experience no negative effects of fluoride when they consume it in the small amounts found in dental products and drinking water. However, if you swallow large quantities of fluoride, you may experience the following:

Dental fluorosis

Exposure to high quantities of fluoride during tooth development in childhood can cause minor dental fluorosis. The tooth enamel will have small white streaks or lines. There will be no effect on dental health. However, tooth discoloration and dental caries may be apparent.

Protecting young children against fluorosis is as simple as breastfeeding or preparing formula milk with water not treated with fluoride. Children under six should not use fluoride-containing mouthwash. If a child is brushing their teeth, an adult should be present to make sure that the young one swallows no toothpaste.

A little girl smiling and brushing her teeth

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Thyroid Problems

Excessive sodium fluoride can be harmful to the parathyroid gland.Hyperparathyroidism develops as a result of swallowing huge amounts of fluoride. It involves the excessive production of parathyroid hormone.

Bone calcium loss and abnormally high blood calcium levels can also occur due to Hyperparathyroidism. Fractures are more likely to occur in bones with low calcium levels.

Skeletal fluorosis

Overexposure to fluoride can result in skeletal fluorosis, a disease of the bones. Long-term exposure to this can wreak havoc on one's skeletal system, causing pain and degeneration.

Fractures are more likely to occur if the bones harden and become less pliable. The accumulation of bone tissue and a thickening of the bones might impair the mobility of the joints.

Dental fluorosis

Neurological Issues

In 2017, a study suggested that prenatal fluoride exposure could result in future cognitive impairment. Researchers examined the amounts of fluoride in 299 pregnant women and their 6–12-year-old children. They evaluated cognitive abilities at ages 4 and somewhere between 6 to 12 years old.IQ test scores were lower in individuals with higher fluoride levels.

Researchers discovered in 2014 that fluoride is a neurotoxin that may harm children's brain development. Arsenic, lead, methylmercury, and toluene are other hazardous industrial chemicals.

Some more fluoride exposure effects you may experience are: 

  • Rashes
  • Diarrhea 
  • Stomach pain
  • Heart failure
  • Reproductive issues
  • Myocardial damage
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Cardiovascular problems,
  • Seizures, tremors, and weakness
  • Bone cancer, osteoarthritis, andtemporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)

Can Fluoride in Toothpaste Be Harmful?

Fluoride in mouthwashes and toothpaste is harmless when taken in the right amount. Many municipal water systems even include small fluoride levels in their tap water. However, it's important to note that fluoride isn't safe for human consumption, except for the small tested concentrations in municipal water supplies.

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Children undersix should use kids' toothpaste that don't contain fluoride as it can be toxic if taken in large quantities. Large quantities of such toothpaste in the digestive tract can cause white streaks on your teeth and disrupt dental enamel development. Therefore, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandates that all toothpaste packages containing fluoride include a poison warning.

If your child swallows excessive amounts of a toothpaste that has fluoride, ensure you call poison control. Fluoride is poisonous when ingested in large quantities. 

What Are the Symptoms of Too Much Fluoride?

Fluoride intake over 10 milligrams a day is not advisable. Some people may experience different symptoms of acute toxicity from fluoride exposure. However, this depends on whether it is chronic (ongoing) or sudden (acutely and severe).

Constant Excessive Fluoride Exposure

The most common side-effect of using fluoride extravagantly is a condition known as dental fluorosis. Fluorosis is irreversible and extremely difficult to treat. A common cause of this condition is consuming excessive amounts of fluoride when teeth still develop in infancy and early childhood. There may be lines of white or brown appearing on the teeth as a result. Severe dental fluorosis can cause enamel pitting. 

Fluorosis is primarily a cosmetic issue and isn't detrimental to teeth. Be wary of tooth-whitening gels and lotions if you experience this condition, as they can trigger further tooth discoloration. Only wash your teeth less than three times daily to reduce exposure to these risks. Use mouthwash only a few times a day and spit out mouthwash instead of swallowing it.

dental fluorosis

Acute Fluoride Toxicity

Diarrhea, stomach upset, vomiting, and nausea are common symptoms of acute fluoride toxicity. The outcomes can be severe, especially for young children. Acute toxicity is rare since fluoride levels in toothpaste, drinking water, and mouthwash are insufficient to create an overdose.

The Fragility of the Bones

Skeletal fluorosis is an uncommon disorder caused by consuming colossal amounts of fluoride. The condition causes brittle bones and joint stiffness or hardening. Bone fractures may become more likely as a result of the disorder.

The condition is uncommon. However, its symptoms include intermittent joint pain or stiffness, osteoporosis, and muscle wasting.

Why Do We Have Fluoride in Our Water?

Natural sources of fluoride include food, soil, and water. Drinking water, mouthwash, toothpaste, and other chemical products benefit from synthetic production.

Water authorities fluoridate municipal water. Areas with low fluoride levels in their water supply can benefit from adding fluoride, which can help lower the risk of tooth decay. You can also use Anti-Plaque Toothpaste - Mint, a dental hygiene product to protect teeth against cavities.

Among the most prevalent dental health issues affecting children is tooth decay. Adding fluoride can provide advantages for those who cannot afford regular dental evaluations.

 A glass of water

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Are Fluoride Supplements Safe?

TheCDC and the American Dental Association consider fluoride supplements safe and useful.

There is a risk of tooth decay if you or your child do not drink water from a publicly fluoridated water supply. You can also acquire the fluoride protection you need against tooth decay by using over-the-counter toothpaste and mouthwash with fluoride.

TheAmerican Dental Association recommends that people get fluoride either orally or topically. An alternative is to have a professional apply fluoride to your teeth. A medical expert will inform you if and when these procedures are necessary.


1. What Happens if You Use Too Much Fluoride Toothpaste?

If you use too much fluoride toothpaste, you may get dental fluorosis. Dental fluorosis is a discoloration of the teeth accompanied by opaque white lines, markings, or blotched enamel. As a result, this causes the teeth to be less mineralized.

2. Which Part of the Body Is Affected by Excess Fluoride?

The part of the body which is affected by excess fluoride is the tooth enamel. Fluoride consumption has both positive and negative consequences. The former (beneficial effects) include a decrease in dental cavities. The latter (adverse effects) include skeletal fluorosis of the tooth enamel after sustained high exposure.

3. Is Fluoride-Free Toothpaste Better?

Yes, fluoride-free products are better, especially when removing bacteria. There is fluoride-containing and natural fluoride-free toothpaste available for purchase. However, toothpaste that contains fluoride is often more efficient at preventing cavities.

4. Can Fluoride Toothpaste Be Used Daily?

Yes, fluoride toothpaste can be used daily. The CDC and ADA advocate using small doses of fluoride toothpaste daily as they effectively minimize dental caries risk in individuals of all ages. Most individuals can do this by drinking water from their taps with correct fluoride levels and using fluoride-containing toothpaste twice daily.