Posts Tagged ‘Triclosan’

Common Household Ingredient Poses Health Risks

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

312802_4062Have you ever heard of Triclosan? Chances are you haven’t (unless you read this blog regularly), but it is probably in a number of items currently in your home. Developed more than 40 years ago, this ingredient that is used to kill germs and is found in 75 percent of antibacterial soaps is ineffective and potentially harmful. As one of the most researched ingredients commonly used in household products, Triclosan is going to be under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration this year. Because of this harmful substance’s germ-fighting powers, it is also in some toothpaste as an ingredient to combat gingivitis.

Advocates and lawmakers have put pressure on the FDA to test the safety of this ingredient, as previous studies have proved that Triclosan in animals has caused negative health effects. Allison Aiello, professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health noted that current knowledge of the chemical shows that the risks outweigh the benefits. Triclosan and other ingredients commonly found in household products have not been formally approved by U.S. health regulators because they were developed before modern-day laws required scientific review of ingredients.

One of the most daunting products that feature Triclosan as an ingredient is toothpaste. You can still find toothpaste for bad breath and gingivitis without resorting to one with harmful chemicals. Exposure to Triclosan can cause damage to the endocrine system, birth defects and a weakened immune system. However, some companies will disguise this ingredient on the label, so be aware of products containing the following: Additive B, Biofresh, Cloxifenolum, Irgasan (DP 300 or PG 60), Lexol-300, Microban or Ster-Zac.

You may want to consider good toothpaste that contains all-natural ingredients, no added dyes or artificial flavorings.


No Comments Yet »

Probiotic Care kills Bad Breath, while Triclosan Encourages Antibiotic Resistance

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

If you’ve been following the oral care headlines lately, you may have noticed more attention being paid to triclosan. What’s going on here? What has triclosan got to do with good dental health and fresh breath? Nothing, if the news stories are any indication. Multiple studies have shown that, while natural products like probiotic care kits address bad breath sensibly, those that contain triclosan may be doing more harm than good.

Specifically, researchers have noted that excess triclosan use might encourage oral bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics. That’s clearly a problem…

Pesticide pushes the limits of safety

Tufts University has published a number of documents online suggesting that Americans need to go easy on all the triclosan. But wait! you say. I’m not buying barrels of the stuff, so why should I worry about it? The problem, as any oral healthcare expert can tell you, is that many synthetic dental products contain triclosan.

In particular, common toothpastes and mouthwashes include the stuff. While the ostensible reason is pretty logical (i.e. triclosan is an antimicrobial agent), the effects of using this chemical make its inclusion totally nonsensical.

For starters, triclosan is a pesticide. Look it up. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it’s commonly used to kill mildew, bacteria and funguses on crops. Not something you want swirling around in your mouth, is it?

Now, you might that think triclosan is fine as long as it’s used orally in small doses. The EPA once felt that way, too. However, the agency has begun to rethink this position based on recently collected medical data. It has decided to initiate a full review of human triclosan use, starting in 2013.

Bacteria get used to it

The problem with triclosan isn’t simply that it’s a synthetic chemical. What’s also at issue is the way consumers use it.


1 Comment »

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.


No Comments Yet »

Article on Halitosis gets it Mostly Right

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Getting rid of halitosis isn’t always easy. Heck, even writing about eliminating bad breath can be a bit of a challenge. The details of oral odor aren’t always so simple to disentangle, which is why we’d like to address a few below.

Recently, Dr. Katz talked to MSN HIM about the causes of oral odor and the best halitosis treatments. The news source did a great job of hitting all the major offenders: low saliva flow, prescriptions that cause dry mouth, dehydration, tonsil stones, deep grooves in the surface of the tongue, smoking, dietary proteins – even alcohol-based mouthwashes!

However, we’d like to offer a few small corrections on detecting oral odor, as well as the best halitosis treatments available.

The source noted that it’s possible to smell your own bad breath by exhaling into your cupped hands and then quickly sniffing. This is a common misconception, since most of us have tried the method but few of us can recall being sure afterward whether we had halitosis. If breathing into our hands really worked, we’d always know if we stunk, and take appropriate countermeasures.

To definitely discover whether your mouth is funky, try licking the back of your hand instead. Then sniff the spot to see if it has an odor. This method is just as discreet, while having the benefit of actually working!

Also, keep in mind that triclosan (an odor-fighting ingredient mentioned in the article) is probably best left alone. Besides being an irritant, this chemical is technically a pesticide. It’s generally better to use specialty breath fresheners that contain all-natural ingredients.

No Comments Yet »

Questionable use of Triclosan in Toothpaste

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Every day we use thousands of household products, but we do actually know what we are putting on our skin and into our mouths?

A recent article published on once again questions the use of Triclosan in toothpastes and other household antibacterial products.

The article states that “The EU’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety has warned that triclosan may promote widespread bacterial resistance to antibiotics and has called for further safety studies.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is still conducting tests on Triclosan and its side effects, but has at this time stated that they do not believe it is hazardous to our health.

Triclosan (a chemical) has been in use since 1972. However, it has been linked to “a range of adverse health and environmental effects, from skin irritation, allergy susceptibility, bacterial, endocrine disruption and compounded antibiotic resistance” according to

Triclosan is proven to help with preventing plaque and gum disease. The chemical does have antibacterial and antifungal properties.  But is using it worth the potential risks?


No Comments Yet »