Brushing your teeth twice a day is important for keeping your teeth and gums healthy, but some people have an unusual problem when it comes to brushing their teeth: They are allergic to toothpaste. Toothpaste allergy is rare, and usually it involves an allergy to a specific ingredient in whatever brand of toothpaste the person is using. Many people ignore the symptoms of toothpaste allergies and don’t report them to the dentist. Knowing the symptoms of toothpaste allergy can help you decide if you should have a talk with the dentist about the possibility that you have an allergy to something in your toothpaste.
The most common symptom of toothpaste allergy is a rash around the mouth that appears after brushing. The rash may be itchy, and it can spread to the chin, cheeks or even the nose. Toothpaste allergy can also cause canker sores, which are painful sores inside the mouth. Other symptoms of toothpaste allergy include gum inflammation, hives, respiratory issues, itchiness, red eyes and watery eyes. Toothpaste allergy can trigger anaphylaxis, which is an emergency situation that requires immediate medical treatment.
Cheilitis, which is dryness, cracking and irritation of the mouth, is a major symptom of toothpaste allergy. Cheilitis is also a symptom of yeast infection, so correct diagnosis is important if you experience this symptom.
Flavorings in toothpastes are a common allergen, particularly spearmint or peppermint oils. Other ingredients in toothpaste that can cause allergic reactions include propylene glycol, sodium benzoate and cocamidopropyl betaine. Toothpastes that advertise as being “natural” may cause less problems with irritation and sensitivity, but sometimes these toothpastes can have combinations of ingredients that can cause allergic reactions as well.
Some people are allergic to fluoride. Fluoride is good for your teeth because it keeps the enamel strong and reduces cavities, but anyone who is allergic to fluoride may have to opt for toothpaste that does not contain fluoride.
If you have allergic reactions or sensitivity to toothpaste, you may be able to ease symptoms by washing your face after brushing your teeth. You can also try using less toothpaste when you brush. Make sure you get a new toothbrush often, at least once a month, and use toothbrushes with soft bristles.