Toothpaste or other allergic reaction?
Toothpaste allergies are rare and should probably be on the short list of potential allergens. However, allergy doctors have reported that some patients do have allergic reactions to toothpaste ingredients.
Ingredients found in toothpaste have a low allergic sensitivity rate which contributes to the rarity of this type of allergy. Toothpaste ingredients have changed dramatically over the past 20 years as manufacturers refine their formulas to make them safer and more effective.
However, the primary toothpaste ingredient known to cause some allergic problems are oil of peppermint. Peppermint reactions are generally mild and resolve themselves by switching to a different flavor or brand of toothpaste. For example, Contact Dermatitis reported in 1998 that a person who developed severe chapped lips (cheilitis) was a result of a contact allergy to spearmint oil that was traced to toothpaste.
A 2004 issue of the journal Dermatology contained a case report of a suspected allergy to fluoride containing toothpaste. The report concluded that fluoridated toothpaste may cause recurrent aphthous stomatitis, a condition more commonly known as “canker sores” in some people. Other ingredients found in toothpaste can cause allergic reactions, such as cinnamic aldehyde, papain and balsam of peru.
Read toothpaste labels carefully and check with your pharmacist if you have any questions before buying. It is also wise to avoid special formulations for ‘tartar-control’ or ‘tooth-whitening’ and stick with good ole toothpaste known to do the job. There are however, many toothpaste products which are sold as hypoallergenic by companies which are known to have safe products. I recommend buying the smallest tube possible and making sure you do not have an allergic response before continuing with a larger size.
If you experience an allergic reaction immediately following brushing of your teeth such as swelling, redness, dryness, or infection in your mouth, contact your dentist immediately.
About the author:
Ann Barlow is a dental hygienist in Clearwater Florida and writes for industry related newsletters.
Dental hygienist allergic to toothpaste