Do You Know What Your Toothpaste Ingredients Do?

While many toothpastes make claims that they are recommended by dentists, they do so because of what is in the toothpaste, rather than the brand that makes it. When it comes to toothpaste, it helps to know what the key ingredients are so you know what sets them apart.


There are toothpastes that contain triclosan, which is a bacteria-fighting ingredient. Its main purpose is to fight off gingivitis, otherwise known as gum disease, which can cause your gums to become swollen and red. If you do not treat this problem, gingivitis can eventually turn into a serious form of periodontitis that can cause your gums to become weak. In a worst-case scenario, teeth can start falling out.

Potassium Nitrate

A very common ingredient found in toothpaste is potassium nitrate, which is supposed to help people that have sensitive teeth. This is for people that have discomfort or pain when eating foods that are very cold or hot, or difficulty biting into foods that are hard. Sensitivity is often due to a lack of enamel on the teeth, which can cause contact with cold or hot beverages or foods to be more painful.

A desensitizing toothpaste will help reduce what your teeth feel by closing up the holes in your teeth known as dentin tubules. With a layer of enamel gone, there may be tiny holes where food and drinks can seep into the tooth. The toothpaste temporarily closes those holes to give you some relief. Some dentists also recommend using a desensitizing mouth rinse with potassium nitrate that has a similar effect.

If desensitizing toothpaste is not working, a crown can be used to cover your affected teeth. Since a dental crown is cemented to the tooth, it prevents cold or hot items from reaching the holes.


A key ingredient in most toothpastes is fluoride. It will prevent decay from occurring in the teeth by strengthening the enamel. This makes it difficult for acids to stick to the surface. It offers a level of protection that can really make a difference when used over the years.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Sodium lauryl sulfate is the ingredient that causes your toothpaste to bubble once you start brushing, which helps remove debris on your teeth. While it is relatively safe, you can find toothpaste that does not contain sodium lauryl sulfate. Many people that that suffer from frequent mouth ulcers may try to avoid the ingredient because it can cause agitation that creates more ulcers.

Contact a family dentistry office for more information.