Posts Tagged ‘sodium lauryl sulfate’

Today’s Canker Sore Treatments Beat the old ones

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

If you get a canker sore, you’ve got a wealth of modern treatment options at your fingertips. You can gargle a specialty alcohol-free mouthwash to neutralize the odor or, for a deeper clean, rinse with a periotherapy product. In a pinch, you can even gargle salt water! But it wasn’t always this easy. In the 1800s, canker sore treatments were a little more, shall we say, unpleasant.

One of the weirder and more instructive reads you’ll find on the matter is Samuel North’s The Family Physician and Guide to Health (Waterloo, NY: 1830).

Pages 109-110 are all about canker sores, and the discomfort and bad breath they cause. If you were to follow Mr. North’s advice on canker sores, these are some of the many odd remedies you might try:

– Wash them with soapsuds.

– Rinse with strong tea.

– Apply a pinch of cayenne pepper (yowch!), followed by a poultice of white bread and ginger soaked with tea.

– Hold on a piece of eggshell until it sticks, then let it naturally fall off after several weeks.

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Ingredients in Your Oral Care Products May Hurt More than Help

Friday, March 9th, 2012

Day to day oral care really shouldn’t be rocket science: You brush, floss and rinse twice a day. Seems simple, right? It is to a degree, but it’s important to be aware of what ingredients you are putting in your mouth when you brush your pearly whites. Here are some recent articles that discuss which ingredients to avoid in your oral care products and why.

Many oral care products (especially children’s) such as mouthwash, toothpaste and gum often contain dyes to give them an attractive and bright appearance. There’s nothing wrong with a product wanted to be appealing to eye, right? Well, there might be. According to one article the HealthDay News reports the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will gather a panel of healthcare experts to discuss whether to not these dyes are linked to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Almost 10 percent of US children from age 4 to 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD according to the Centers to Disease Control and Prevention – that’s roughly 5.4 million youngsters in America alone. The link to ADHD and food dyes has yet to be confirmed, but many health experts already suspect a connection. David Schaub, a psychiatric researcher, professor at Columbia University and FDA panel member told HealthDay News that this pending meeting is “a big step forward” in discussing this issue. While the jury is still out, it’s probably best to stay clear of oral care products that contain dyes to avoid the potential risk of excess dye absorption.

Some people may brush, floss and rinse twice a day but shortly after the deed is done, feel that their bad breath comes back. With good intentions, these same people may purchase and use alcohol-based mouthwashes with mint or cinnamon flavors to cure bad breath. As one article states, while these mouthwashes may mute halitosis for a little while, over time they may actually contribute and cause bad breath. Robin Seymour, as restorative dentist told the UK Daily Mail that some mouthwashes may contain as much as 13 percent of alcohol (by volume). The alcohol in mixed with other natural compounds such as menthol to target oral odor and plaque. While this sounds good in theory, Seymour stated that alcohol dries out the palate and tongue, leaving the anaerobic bacteria that cause bad breath to thrive. With time, the cycle of using an alcohol-based mouthwash, drying out the mouth and having the bacteria multiply may actually make the bad breath bacterial strains more resilient and will allow the microorganisms to thrive in the dry mouth environment. Seymour commented that over time, these types of mouthwashes may stain teeth a pale brown.  Seymour also noted a study that was published in the Dental Journal of Australia that links alcohol-rich mouthwashes to an increased risk of oral cancer.

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A Look at Canker Sores

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Few things evoke a wincing quite like the mention of a canker sore.  Not to be used confused with cold sores (although those are equally disliked) canker sores are those annoying and painful sores that develop in your mouth, making it hard to eat, drink and even talk when they are at their prime. Canker sores are fairly common and short-lived (although it doesn’t seem like it while you have one). Here are some articles that discuss these pesky sores and how you can avoid them.

Having a canker sore is hard to ignore. A canker sore is an erosion of the inner membranes of the mouth and along with pain; they can also cause bad breath. What causes a canker sore? They occur because of bacterial infections but sometimes a small cut or other vexation is the culprit for inviting this microbial growth. What is the best way to try to avoid canker sores? Stay away from mouthwashes and toothpastes that contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or alcohol. These ingredients can irritate and dry out your tongue, checks and gums which can lead to inflammation of the delicate tissue in your mouth where canker sores occur.  These inflammations may attract bacteria, leading to a canker sore. Avoiding products with these ingredients can reduce your risk of getting an aphthous ulcer (which is what a canker sore is). If you do get canker sores frequently, you aren’t alone. An article in the British Medical Journal stated that canker sores are the most common condition of the mouth’s membranes in developed countries. Also, don’t worry about spreading the sores to your friends – they aren’t contagious.

Looking for another way to possible eliminate getting canker sores? David Zabriskie, a 32 year old road bicycle racer that participated in his sixth Tour de France this year told the UK Daily Mail what he plans to do to stop canker sores. He’s gone vegan! Not only has eliminating eggs, dairy products and meat from his diet and replacing them with protein-rich seeds and rice stopped his canker sores and saddle rash, but he also stated that this change in diet has actually boosted his performance. Is this just a rare occurrence that David is lucky enough to reap the benefits of? According to several sources, it has been noted that dietary changes can help stop and treat canker sores. Specifically, a study in the Journal of American Board of Family Medicine found that by increasing one’s vitamin B12 levels can help to heal canker sores more quickly. No doubt a change in Zabriskie’s diet gave him a boost of B12, which is also known for increasing energy. Experts still aren’t fully endorsing becoming vegan to eliminate canker sores, but it could be a healthy side effect of making the switch. Rather, since these aphthous ulcers are caused by irritation, dentists are telling patients to avoid oral care products that contain harsh chemicals like SLS and alcohol which can inflame the tissue of the cheeks and gums where canker sores often appear.

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TheraBreath’s All-natural Rinse Makes List of Best Mouthwashes for You and for the Environment

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

There are a million mouthwashes out there, and it’s not always easy to differentiate the good from the bad (and the ugly). Fortunately, the Environmental Health Association of Nova Scotia (EHANS) has released a list of products that are healthy and eco-friendly. And wouldn’t you know it, TheraBreath’s oral rinses happened to make the list of the best mouthwashes!

EHANS’s list – somewhat formidably titled the “Guide to Less Toxic Products” – is exactly that: a list of consumer goods that do NOT contain toxins and harmful chemicals. If this makes you stop and wonder about the accuracy of their using the word “toxic,” don’t worry.

They are using it quite correctly.

Believe it or not, many of the substances found in typical, alcohol-based mouthwashes are technically toxic. That is, if these chemicals are swallowed – or more often, swallowed in large enough amounts – they can be quite dangerous. As you might imagine, this means that the best mouthwashes are by definition the all-natural, organic variety!

TheraBreath’s alcohol-free mouthwashes are a case in point. EHANS listed our oral rinses as one of just SEVEN of the best mouthwashes for your health, for the environment and for eliminating bad breath.

Our oral rinses use all-natural ingredients like xylitol, aloe leaf juice, sodium bicarbonate and menthol to quickly and safely eliminate oral odor and kill bacteria.

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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Toothpaste

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Toothpaste Basics and Commonly Available Options

Toothpaste or dentifrice refers to a substance, such as a paste, gel or powder, used for cleaning and polishing teeth. Dentifrice is the most commonly used consumer product for maintaining the aesthetics and health of teeth in children and adults (1, 4). It has multiple functions, including removing plaque, limiting halitosis and  applying fluoride to the tooth structure.

Certain active ingredients in toothpaste also impede tooth disease and gingivitis (1, 4). Used in conjunction with a toothbrush, toothpaste enhances the mechanics of brushing, cleaning and polishing with a toothbrush and enables it to reach accessible teeth surfaces (1, 4).

The History of Toothpaste

Research suggests the ancient Egyptians began using toothpaste for oral hygiene around 5000 BC. At nearly the same time, Roman and Greek residents started using toothpaste. Around 500 BC, the populace occupying the regions of India and China also gravitated to the practice of using dentifrice. Like modern humankind, these people used the earliest forms of toothpastes for cleaning their teeth and gums, and eliminating halitosis.

The ingredients in early toothpastes differ from culture to culture. The Egyptians used a combination of  ingredients, including burnt eggshells, ox hooves’ ashes and water. Various powdered mixtures prevailed up to the early 1800s. The modern era of toothpastes began when soap was added to the product, giving it a paste form.

In the 1850s, consumers could buy toothpaste packaged in jars; Colgate started this method of packaging its product in 1873. In the 1890s, Colgate transitioned to selling toothpaste in tin/lead tubes– similar to the toothpaste dispensers used today.

In 1914, manufacturers started adding fluoride to toothpaste. During World War II, a shortage of lead/tin, and leakage of the metal alloy into toothpaste, caused a switch to plastic tubes. Soap remained an ingredient in toothpaste up to 1945. Subsequently, it was replaced with sodium lauryl sulfate.

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