My mouth and gums were red and sore. Since I write so much about ingredients (, I assumed it was probably the “whitening “in my new toothpaste since I did not have any new food or medicine that might cause the discomfort.

In a hurry, I rushed into big chain pharmacy to buy a toothpaste without whitening. I looked through a large display of a variety of toothpaste for a tube that did not have whitening. advertised on the front.

I couldn’t find one.

“There should be one in the baby care section” I thought to myself.” I couldn’t find any toothpaste there and then it occurred to me that babies don’t have teeth.

Finally, I went to the pharmacist and told her of my dilemma. She came out of her prescription area and searched for a non-whitening toothpaste. There were none. Finally, she went in a backroom and came out triumphantly holding up a tube that did not promise “whitening”. Instead, it offered “cavity protection.” due to its “active fluoride” ingredient

“Hey, I said to myself, better search for other possibly problem ingredients in toothpaste.” I knew toothpastes are regulated by the FDA as Over-The-Counter drugs.

I read on the ingredient label of my suspect toothpaste “sodium perborate.”

 I looked the ingredient up in my own A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients (Crown Publishers).

Among the listings of ingredients, I described:

SODIUM PERBORATE. Used in tooth whitener, antiseptic, in foot baths and detergents. Ulcerations of the mouth have been reported in its use in dentifrices. Strong solutions are very alkaline on the skin. The ingredient is on the Canadian “Hot list” and is restricted in mouthwash dentifrices and other purposes involving long-term use in the oral cavity if it is more than 3%. The Canadian Hot List contains information about cosmetic ingredients that have the potential for adverse effects or have been restricted or banned. The Hot List says this ingredient should not be used by children under 12 years.

HYDRATED SILICA. (Dry sand) used to scratch away plaque and tartar on teeth. .

SODIUM FLUORIDE is a dental caries reducer, an insecticide disinfectant and preservative., Nearly 70 percent of US residents receive fluoridated water. While it greatly reduced cavities in the population, the chemical has been accused of everything from changes in bone to vomiting and even death.)

 TRICLOSAN is a broad-spectrum antibacterial ingredient in some toothpaste which active against some types of bacteria. the environmental registers it as a pesticide citing as a risk to both human health and the environment. It is a chlorinated aromatic similar in molecular structure to highly toxic compounds such as dioxins, PCBs and Agent Orange. It is not only used in soaps but in household products, vaginal deodorants and sprays and drugs.  It is being phased out of soap because the FDA says it may cause bacterial resistance and is no more effective than regular soap. 2016 review of studies from the University of California San Diego reported that triclosan may contribute to antibiotic resistance and disrupt hormones and immunity; it also has been linked to tumors in mice. Triclosan is an example of a chemical contained in high contact products (e.g., soaps, lotions, and toothpaste) not necessarily designed for children. Triclosan exposure in children has been associated with increased responsiveness to airway allergens, with it also capable of endocrine disruption. However, the utility and necessity of this chemical in consumer products has not been demonstrated in most cases. Triclosan does not have a proven benefit in preventing infections around the home or in personal care products.  Its toxic effects are still being studied but concerns have been raised regarding endocrine disruption and allergies; these effects may be possible within the range of current human exposure.  Thus, its wise for parents to take a careful approach and avoid triclosan-containing products for their children.

INACTIVE INGREDIENTS.  Saccharin and xylitol (artificial sweeteners) sodium lauryl sulfate (a detergent) dicalcium sulfate (an abrasive often made from bone); glycerols (Moisturizers to keep the toothpaste from drying out.); gums and seaweed extracts (thickeners); tetra sodium pyro phosphate (alkali) irritating and if ingested can cause nausea, diarrhea and vomiting). All the above additives have been declared, Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS.) by the FDA,

The FDA now requires all toothpaste to have a label WARNING:

When using this product, if irritation occurs discontinue use,.” if you accidentally swallow t more than is used for brushing, get medical help or call your poison control center” right away. Ask a dentist before use if you have bleeding or redness lasting more than two weeks. Pain, swelling, pus, loose teeth, or more spacing between teeth. These may be signs of periodontitis, a serious gum disease,

I looked at the toothpaste label of the tube I had just purchased and it read: When using this product, if irritation occurs discontinue use. Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age. If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center.”

I requested the FDA to tell me how many reports of adverse effects from toothpastes were reported. The agency did not respond. The staff is now busy creating a database of adverse effect complaints.  I did find the Consumer Affairs site” which reported having received 769 consumer complaints about whitening toothpaste.

You can also check information about toothpaste problems at:

And at::http// (Search for toothpaste.)

Yes, I do have an appointment with my dentist to verify my assumption about what caused my mouth soreness.


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