Toothpaste, SLS and mouth ulcers

Toothpaste and SLS

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is found in almost all readily available toothpastes, and mouth washes. It is what makes the toothpaste go all nice and foamy when you brush your teeth, however, there is nothing else nice at all about putting this chemical in your mouth!

Also known as: Sodium dodecyl sulfate, Dodecyl sodium sulfate, Lauryl Sodium Sulfate, Sodium Laurylsulfate, Sulfuric acid monododecyl ester sodium salt

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is a cheap anionic surfactant used in cosmetics and industrial chemicals as a cleansing agent (it is a detergent).

In absorption, metabolism and excretion studies Sodium Lauryl Sulfate has had a degenerative effect on the cell membranes because of its protein denaturing properties. High levels of skin penetration may occur at even low use concentration. Residual levels are maintained in the heart, the liver, the lungs and the brain from skin contact.

It is momentarily comforting to know that SLS is used routinely in clinical studies - until you realise that SLS is used as the "Standard Dermatological Irritant" by which others irritants are measured!  Thus, despite being the number one active ingredient in virtually all soaps, shampoos and cleansers, the sole purpose of using SLS in clinical studies is to cause skin irritation that can then be used to identify the properties of other chemicals!

Still other research has indicated SLS may be damaging to the immune system, especially within the skin. Skin layers may separate and inflame due to its protein denaturing properties.

SLS is a contributory factor in the occurrence of mouth ulcers for a lot of people, avoiding it has definitely reduced the frequency and severity for me. For some people, eliminating SLS has completely eliminated their ulcers. If you suffer from recurrent mouth ulcers, it is certainly worth switching to an SLS-free toothpaste - use it exclusively for a couple of months and see if it helps.

To read more simply type "SLS irritant" into the Google search box.

SLS is not the only irritant, some toothpaste manufacturers use other detergents which can also cause problems, make sure yours doesn't have any other horrid ingredients in it, Protect Your Mouth.