Chemicals enter our bodies in all kinds of ways.
When we swallow a pill, for example, it goes through our gastrointestinal tract and then the liver and THEN it’s delivered to where it’s needed.
The path to get there is long and it gets broken down several times along the way. Most anything that enters our body has to take the long way in. It’s one way our body protects us.
But have you ever needed something to reach the rest of your body FAST? Like, a medication to save you from a cardiovascular event, for instance?
If so, you may have been given that medication sublingually (under the tongue).
As a medication dissolves under your tongue, it diffuses through the mucous membranes and because there are SO many capillaries there, the medicine has a direct route to your bloodstream.
No waiting, no roadblocks - just right into the blood and off to do its job. The medication is able to be faster and much more potent this way.
So, on its face, this seems like great news, but is it possible it could present some problems?
I mean, we as a culture, and certainly as a medical community, are rather famous for taking advantage of a certain phenomenon when it suits us and ignoring it when it doesn’t.
So what else has the opportunity to be absorbed by our mouths? Maybe something we would rather not have a fast pass to our bloodstreams?
How about toothpaste?! It’s chocked full of chemicals and is in our mouths constantly.
The recommendation is to brush twice a day for two minutes each. That’s 4 entire minutes per day that toothpaste has the opportunity to infiltrate our bodies in the most potent way.
And, unfortunately, toothpaste companies don’t seem all that concerned about what goes into their products - and the possible harm is serious and very real.
Here are 7 chemicals that should NOT be handed a fast pass to your bloodstream and organs.
This one’s an antibacterial chemical found in the super popular toothpaste, Colgate Total.
Triclosan has been linked to concerns over antibiotic resistance and endocrine disruption.
It's also been linked to cancer, with research finding that it may even promote breast cancer progression.
And, as expected, it appears the mouth is a super potent delivery vehicle - people who brushed their teeth with Colgate Total had more than five times as much triclosan in their urine as those who did not.
#2: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
Many toothpastes contain SLS chemicals. They're responsible for the foaming action of toothpaste and for interfering with your taste buds, which is why everything tastes bad right after you brush your teeth.
Its danger actually goes all the way back to its manufacturing process. The way its processed opens it up to contamination by dioxane, which allows the chemical to release carcinogenic, cancer-causing compounds into your body.
#3: Artificial Sweeteners
Aspartame contains methanol and humans are the only mammals on earth who are NOT equipped to break methanol down into a harmless formic acid.
It travels through our blood vessels into sensitive areas like the brain, where it’s actually converted to formaldehyde - which causes enormous damage in your tissues.
Symptoms of methanol poisoning are many, and include headaches, ear buzzing, dizziness, nausea, gastrointestinal disturbances, weakness, vertigo, chills, memory lapses, numbness, and shooting pains in the extremities, behavioral disturbances and neuritis.
Although Fluoride has long been celebrated as the answer to decaying teeth, it's been getting increasing scrutiny over the years - and for seriously good reason.
Science clearly demonstrates that fluoride is a toxic chemical that accumulates in your tissues over time, wreaks havoc with enzymes, and produces a number of serious adverse health effects, including neurological and endocrine system dysfunction.
Children are particularly at risk for overexposure because they often swallow more fluoride from toothpaste alone than is recommended in an entire day's ingestion from all sources.
To read more on the dangers of fluoridated water, click here.
5. Propylene Glycol
A type of mineral oil that's used in antifreeze, paints, enamels, and airplane de-icers.
Research on the safety of propylene glycol is lacking, although it's a known skin, eye, and lung irritant and may cause organ system toxicity. It’s clearly not a substance you want to be brushing your teeth with.
6. Diethanolamine (DEA)
DEA is found in many foaming products, including toothpaste. It's a known hormone disruptor and can react with other ingredients to form a potential carcinogen.
This carcinogen is readily absorbed through the mouth and skin and has been linked with cancers of the stomach, esophagus, liver, and bladder.
Microbeads are tiny pellets made of plastic.
Not only are they terrible for the environment, but they can actually get trapped under your gums and give food and bacteria an entrance to your gum line - which means gum disease is likely in your near future.
Is Toothpaste Our Only Danger?
While it's disturbing to know that the FDA actually approves products like these and that companies even make them, the toothpaste issue is an easy one to solve on an individual level.
By making your own toothpaste (favorite recipe here), you can guarantee there won't be any harmful chemicals sneaking their way in.
The bigger problem arises when you start thinking about other things that go and stay in your mouth besides toothpaste.
Our Mouths: part of our body or not part of our body?
Just the fact that we have separate dental and health insurance proves that a large part of the medical community still views the mouth as a separate entity from the rest of the body - which clearly couldn’t be more wrong.
The mouth is actually the shortcut in to the body. The very quickest way to our blood stream and the rest of our organs. And we need to start treating it like that.
When a tooth decays, it leaks harmful bacteria straight into our bloodstreams.
When a cavity is filled with mercury (one of the world’s most dangerous toxins) it gets direct access to every organ in our bodies.
And if you get a titanium dental implant, you’re giving a corroding metal the chance to release its particles into your bloodstream at hyperspeed.
This is why it’s so, so important to see a dentist that doesn’t pretend that the mouth is on its own island. A dentist that understands the massive impact our mouths have on our overall health. This type of dentist is usually labeled a holistic or biological dentist.
Dr. Jordan C. Baker, of Wellness BioDentistry in Idaho Falls, ID, is passionate about educating his patients about topics such as this one and says:
“It is so important to me to provide my patients with as much information as possible in order to help them make the best informed decision for their own specific health needs. I do not take a “one-size-fits-all” approach to patient care. It is important to tailor all treatments and recommendations based on each individual’s specific needs. There isn’t a specific toothpaste that I recommend to all my patients because each patient is different and each has specific dental needs. But I will always favor recommending a toxin-free treatment option for a patient over one that may be harmful to their overall health. This is one of the many reasons why I offer treatments such as ceramic dental implants in my practice, to offer more natural oral health solutions.
After my time spent as a research assistant at Dr. Gordon J. Christensen’s Clinician Report Foundation along with my advanced training in the Oral & Maxillofacial Surgical Residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin, evidence-based medicine plays a vital role in my approach to patient care. Providing comprehensive whole-body patient care allows me to care for my patients as a dental physician rather than just a dental technician. By looking for the source of poor dental health instead of just treating the symptoms, I am able to provide my patients with comprehensive care that not only improves their dental health but their overall health.”
-Dr. Jordan Baker, DDS
Click here to learn more about Dr. Baker and his amazing practice Wellness BioDentistry located at 333 S. Woodruff Ave, Suite F, Idaho Falls, ID 83401.
If you need to see a dentist for a dental implant, a cavity, or any other dental procedure - make an appointment with one of our expert dentists, specializing in biological dentistry and ceramic dental implants.
Click ‘Find a Doctor’ and schedule your appointment today!