Toothpaste Allergy: Causes and Symptoms

Toothpaste Allergy: Causes and Symptoms	 article banner

From the nickel in the button on your jeans to the herbal products in your expensive moisturizer, virtually any product that you use has the potential to cause an allergic reaction.

But toothpaste ingredients should be low on your list of potential allergens.

Toothpaste Ingredients Have Changed - Safer and More Effective

Of course, there have been some reports of allergic reactions that have been linked to toothpaste ingredients, but these reports are rare. The low degree of sensitization in most toothpaste ingredients contributes to the rarity of toothpaste allergies. The ingredients in toothpaste have changed over time and continue to change as companies refine their formulas to make them safer and more effective.

That said, flavorings often used in toothpaste, such as oil of peppermint, can cause an allergic reaction, but such reactions are usually mild and will resolve if you switch to a different flavor or brand of toothpaste. For example, a 1998 report from Denmark published in the journal Contact Dermatitis, described a case of a person who developed severe chapped lips (cheilitis) as the result of a contact allergy to spearmint oil that was traced to toothpaste.

Having a Reaction? See Your Dentist

If you experience an allergic reaction, such as swelling, redness, dryness, or infection in your mouth, see your dentist immediately to rule out gum disease and to discuss your choice of toothpaste. You may find that you simply have sensitive teeth and gums, rather than a full-blown allergy, and that a mildly flavored toothpaste and soft-bristle brush may solve the problem.