Is Toothpaste Poisonous?

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Traditionally, toothpaste was used for cosmetic reasons. It aids in cleaning the teeth and also helps the user to have fresh breath. However, today you can find toothpaste with different formulations and ingredients that can help with oral health. But are any of these ingredients poisonous?

Toothpaste, while great for your teeth, contains fluoride, which can trigger a poisonous effect if you swallow large amounts. Swallowing multiple mouthfuls of toothpaste can cause an intestinal blockage. Other symptoms of fluoride poisoning include drowsiness, pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. 

Despite these health risks, used in the correct way, toothpaste is an essential part of oral hygiene. Let’s look at how you can safely use toothpaste and things you should avoid doing.

Are There Poisonous Ingredients in Your Toothpaste?

Toothbrush and toothpaste

It’s important to know the ingredients included in any product you’re using. Toothpaste contains several ingredients that, if ingested in large amounts, can trigger a health problem.

Some of the poisonous ingredients in toothpaste are added in small amounts, so you would have to swallow a large amount, such as multiple mouthfuls, of the toothpaste to suffer these adverse effects.

But even in small amounts, swallowing toothpaste over time could lead to the accumulation of some of these poisonous ingredients in the body. It is, therefore, advisable to only use the specified amount and always spit the toothpaste out when brushing. Rinse your mouth afterwards with clean water.

What Ingredients Should You Avoid in Toothpaste?

When reading the ingredients on toothpaste, you should keep an eye for these ingredients, which can be poisonous to your body. There are toothpaste brands that use natural ingredients free from these additives. Here are some of the most common ingredients that you should avoid in toothpaste.

  • Fluoride – Fluoride is included in toothpaste as it helps to prevent cavities. This is a neurotoxin that should only be used with caution, so you need to avoid swallowing toothpaste. While fluoride is used in water in most cities in the world, the particles are too small to filter out, so some cities are working on abandoning the use of fluoride in water.
  • Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) – This is an ingredient common in soap. When placed in the mouth, it can make the gums slough off, which causes gum recession. Also, SLS can trigger an allergic reaction. When ingested, SLS also creates aphthous ulcers, so ensure you always spit out the toothpaste and rinse your mouth when brushing. 
  • MEA, DEA, TEA – These are additives that make the toothpaste creamier. However, these compounds can do damage to the body, including weakening kidneys and livers, and causing cancer. 
  • Microplastics – Microplastics are unusual additives that create dentifrice abrasiveness. These sandy chunks if swallowed can accumulate in the muscles and lead to systemic inflammation, cancer, and fatigue. 
  • Artificial Sweeteners – There are studies on the effects of ingredients like aspartame and saccharin. Saccharin has been linked to brain tumors, bladder cancers, and lymphoma. On the other hand, aspartame has been shown to increase blood glucose and affect gut bacteria. 

What Are the Benefits of Fluoride in Toothpaste?

Although it is a toxin, there are many reasons you might want to use a toothpaste containing fluoride. First, fluoride greatly helps your dental health, as it strengthens your tooth enamel, thereby making it more resistant to tooth decay. Also, fluoride reduces the acidic bacteria your teeth produce.

Also, having fluoride in toothpaste can help to rebuild a weakened tooth enamel and it also reverses signs of tooth decay. The fluoride in toothpaste soothes the surface of the teeth, providing a topical benefit.

But despite these benefits, it’s advisable to use fluoride toothpaste moderately and ensure you don’t ingest the toothpaste. While fluoride offers benefits in moderate amounts, too much of the substance can cause health problems as highlighted above.

Even though fluoride is beneficial, children often like to swallow toothpaste, and for this reason it is not advised to use a fluoride toothpaste for kids who aren’t old enough to spit it out. Switch your child to a fluoride toothpaste once they have mastered spitting it out when they are done brushing.

These Are Some of the Cleanest Brands of Toothpaste

Toothbrush and Tube paste

So, which are the best toothpaste brands to avoid all the harmful health effects of mainstream toothpaste? The best bet is to go for toothpaste made with natural ingredients without some of the chemicals that cause the poisoning discussed above.

These are some of the brands you should consider the next time you’re out looking for a good toothpaste.

  1. Marvis Cinnamon Mint Toothpaste(on Amazon) – If you love things with apothecary-style packaging, this toothpaste is a fantastic option. The brand offers several flavors, from ginger to classic mind. The best part is that the toothpaste is free of all those poisonous ingredients. 

  2. Rael Himalayan Pink Salt Toothpaste(on Amazon) – As the name suggests, the powerful ingredient in the formula is mineral-rich sea salt. The salt gently scrubs your teeth and contains natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. 

  3. Dr. Bronner’s All-One Toothpaste(on Amazon) – This is a toothpaste that does it all without all the nasty stuff. It’s a vegan option, which is also cruelty-free with zero artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, or preservatives. Also, it does not have fluoride. 


Finding the right toothpaste is an important part of maintaining good oral hygiene. While most kinds of toothpaste offer great cleaning benefits, they also contain harmful ingredients.

For the best results, and to avoid poisonous ingredients, it’s recommended to opt for toothpaste made with natural ingredients and no harmful chemicals.

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