Toothpaste and Canker Sores

Canker sores on the tongue are very painful and uncomfortable. I have had very few breakouts through-out my life but there was one time where three of them showed up all at once. Gargling with salt water, as I had done in the past, did not really help. Desperate to find relief, I researched my options on the internet. The product that had the most positive reviews was called Amosan-an oral antiseptic rinse. And in fact, when I asked the drugstore pharmacist to recommend something, this was one of the products she pointed out. I used the rinse for four days and saw immediate results. I was able to enjoy painless eating and the sores disappeared much quicker than other times.

During my research, I came across interesting information about the possible causes of canker sores. These include culprits such as as spicy foods, vitamin B deficiencies, sleep deprivation, stress and an ingredient called Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) which is a common ingredient found in most toothpastes. This was the first I had heard of this ingredient.  Coincidentally, a week before my canker sore outbreak, I was wanting to brighten my smile so I switched toothpastes from Sensodyne, Fresh Mint (which does not have SLS) to Colgate OPTIC WHITE,  a whitening toothpaste which does contain SLS. This ingredient is a "strong detergent that has demonstrated in several studies to increase canker sore outbreaks and pain". Needless to say, the Colgate toothpaste made its way quickly to the waste bin. 

Its hard to say with certainty that my three canker sore outbreak was due to SLS sensitivity, however I am not a big believer in coincidences. Wanting a change from Sensodyne, I have since switched to a natural toothpaste by Jason called SeaFresh and this is SLS and fluoride free. So far, no canker sores and my mouth and teeth always feel clean and fresh after I brush. I also did not give up my desire for a whiter and brighter smile but my quest for a whitening toothpaste was a little more challenging. Even some of the natural toothpaste brands, such as Toms of Maine contain SLS, including their product- spearmint anti plaque and whitening toothpaste. I was successful though in finding three natural whitening toothpastes that are SLS free: 1. Toms of Maine Botanically Bright (Choices Market) 2. Jason- Power Smile (Finlandia Pharmacy) and Himalaya Botanique (Finlandia Pharmacy). My goal is to try all three and report back to you. Wish me Luck!