Ask a Dentist

September 16, 2022

Q: How Do I Know If I Have A Toothpaste Allergy?

Toothpaste in the shape of tooth coming out from toothpaste tube. Brushing teeth dental concept. 3D illustration

Allergies to toothpaste are uncommon, but they can happen. This study suggests that about 0.1 to 0.3 per cent of the population display a contact allergy to toothpaste. If you’re one of the few, read on to learn more about toothpaste allergy symptoms, common allergens found in toothpaste and what you can do if you suspect you might have this allergy.

Signs Of Toothpaste Allergy

When an allergic reaction does occur, it can appear as a rash around the mouth or chapped lips, and cause an itchy or burning sensation. A toothpaste allergy symptom to be aware of is severely dry, cracked lips. It’s a common allergic reaction to toothpaste known as cheilitis. In some cases, you may even experience sensitivity or a mild burning sensation.

What Are Potential Allergens In Toothpaste?

The most common allergen in toothpaste are flavourings such as peppermint, spearmint or cinnamon flavour, which are added to freshen breath and mask the taste of other ingredients. These allergic reactions are usually mild and will resolve if you switch to a different flavour or toothpaste brand. Other less common allergens include:

  • Cocamidopropyl betaine, a lathering or foaming agent.
  • Fluoride, a natural mineral that helps strengthen enamel and makes teeth more resistant to decay.
  • Propylene glycol, a preservative.
  • Essential oils, like tree oil, which helps control bacteria in the mouth.
  • Parabens, a preservative.
  • Gluten, which stabilizes and thickens the toothpaste.

If you have an allergic reaction to your toothpaste, then switch your toothpaste immediately. But if your symptoms persist, we recommend you visit your dentist as it may be a sign of something more serious. 

Have trouble finding the right toothpaste? Our dentists at Dental Image Therapy Centres can help with that. We’d be happy to help you find the right product to take care of your smile. Book an appointment with us today or visit us at one of our two Winnipeg locations at Garden City Shopping Centre and St. Vital Centre. 

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