Harmful Chemicals in Toothpaste

People are getting more conscious of what they put into their bodies, raising concerns about potentially dangerous compounds in toothpaste. Many seek safer alternatives to conventional toothpaste because common components like triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate, and artificial sweeteners have been linked to several health problems. Due to this change, there is a growing need for natural and Ayurvedic oral care products that put human health and environmental safety first. 

Natural toothpastes that don't include artificial chemicals are becoming increasingly popular as individuals search for solutions to keep their teeth healthy without sacrificing their overall well-being. This post will discuss the harmful ingredients frequently included in toothpaste, possible negative consequences, and how to recognise and select safer, natural substitutes for a better smile.

What are Harmful Chemicals & Toxins in Toothpaste?

chemicals in toothpaste

There are harmful compounds in toothpaste that can harm your health. These include sodium lauryl sulfate, which might irritate your mouth, and triclosan, which can interfere with hormones. Manufacturers frequently use these substances to increase flavour, fight bacteria, and create foam in toothpaste. 

These compounds are utilised because they are inexpensive and work well to clean teeth, even if dangers are involved. But as individuals become more conscious of their negative consequences, many are searching for natural substitutes that are safer in the long term.

List of Common Harmful Chemicals in Toothpaste to Avoid

1. Triclosan

Because of its antimicrobial qualities, toothpaste contains triclosan, which helps to lower plaque and prevent gum disease. But it can mess with hormones, which could impact growth and fertility. Furthermore, it adds to the resistance to antibiotics. Triclosan pollutes water sources and washes down the drain, harming aquatic life.

2. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

SLS is a detergent that creates foam in toothpaste, making it easier to spread around the mouth. However, it can irritate the lining of the mouth, causing canker sores in some people. Safer alternatives include natural foaming agents like Cocamidopropyl betaine or saponins, which are gentler on the mouth.

3. Fluoride

Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, helping to prevent cavities. However, fluoride overuse can be harmful and cause numerous health problems, including dental fluorosis (tooth yellowing). Its benefits and risks are balanced, which is where the argument rests. According to safe usage guidelines, children should only use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and not ingest it.

4. Parabens


Parabens are preservatives used to prevent the growth of bacteria and mould in toothpaste. They have been linked to health concerns, including hormone disruption and an increased risk of breast cancer. People who avoid parabens can choose toothpaste that uses natural preservatives like essential oils or vitamin E.

5. Artificial sweeteners and colours

These components enhance toothpaste's flavour and appearance. Saccharin is an artificial sweetener that has been connected to health issues, including cancer. Artificial colouring may result in allergic reactions and other medical problems.

6. Propylene Glycol

This substance aids in keeping toothpaste wet. But it can irritate the skin, eyes, and respiratory system. Glycerin is a safer substitute because it comes from natural sources and is less prone to irritate skin.

How to Avoid Harmful Chemicals in Toothpaste?

Reading labels

  • Understanding Ingredients: Always read the ingredient list on toothpaste packaging. Familiarize yourself with common chemical names. If an ingredient sounds unfamiliar or has a long, complicated name, research its purpose and safety.
  • Key Ingredients to Avoid: Create a checklist of harmful chemicals, including triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), parabens, artificial sweeteners like saccharin, and artificial colours. This will help you quickly identify and avoid products containing these substances.

Choosing Natural Alternatives

  • Natural and Ayurvedic Ingredients: Choose toothpaste that contains organic and Ayurvedic components. Clove provides antibacterial and pain-relieving qualities, neem has antibacterial qualities, and miswak (Salvadora persica) naturally cleans teeth and helps maintain oral health. Not only are these chemicals safer, but they also offer extra health advantages.
  • Recommended Brands: Look for well-known and reputable businesses that use only natural products. Several reliable brands include Zanducare, which employs Ayurvedic herbs and produces toothpaste free of SLS and fluoride.

Practical steps

  • Visit Health Stores: Many different natural and Ayurvedic toothpaste options are available at health food stores and natural product retailers. Depending on your requirements, employees may provide recommendations.
  • Online Research: Use web resources to find reviews and suggestions for natural toothpaste companies. Natural living and health websites can be great resources for safe dental care items.

Ayurvedic perspective on oral care

Ayurvedic principles of oral hygiene

Historical Context: Ayurveda, an ancient Indian system of medicine, has a long history of promoting oral health. For thousands of years, Ayurvedic practices have emphasized the importance of maintaining oral hygiene as part of overall health and well-being.

Key practices

  • Oil pulling: Swishing oil (usually sesame or coconut oil) in the mouth for several minutes to remove toxins and improve oral health.
  • Herbal powders: To clean teeth and gums, use herbal powders made from neem, clove, and licorice root.
  • Natural brushes: Utilising natural brushes made from neem or miswak sticks to clean teeth and gums effectively.

Also, check our related post:

Benefits of Ayurvedic ingredients


1. Neem: Known for its powerful antibacterial properties, neem helps reduce plaque and prevent gum disease. Its natural compounds also freshen your breath and promote overall oral health.

2. Clove: Clove oil contains eugenol, which provides pain relief for toothaches and has strong antibacterial properties. It helps reduce inflammation and fight oral infections.

3Licorice Root: This herb is anti-inflammatory and helps prevent cavities and gum disease. It can also reduce the growth of bacteria that cause tooth decay.

4. Tulsi (Holy Basil): Tulsi is celebrated for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory benefits. It helps in maintaining oral hygiene by reducing harmful bacteria in the mouth and soothing inflamed gums.
    5. Miswak: Traditionally used for oral care, miswak (Salvadora persica) is known for its natural teeth-cleaning properties. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits, effectively maintaining oral health and preventing dental issues.


      We covered the harmful ingredients in toothpaste, their possible side effects, and how to avoid them by reading labels and selecting natural substitutes in this guide. We looked into the advantages of neem, clove, licorice root, tulsi, and miswak—ayurvedic ingredients—for dental care. Maintaining dental health using safe, natural alternatives is essential for general well-being. 

      Choosing non-toxic products will help you maintain a more efficient oral hygiene regimen. Give natural components priority if you want to improve your dental care and safeguard your health.


      1. What are the harmful chemicals in toothpaste?

      Triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), parabens, artificial sweeteners, artificial colouring, and propylene glycol are harmful ingredients in toothpaste. SLS can irritate the mouth, but triclosan can mess with hormones. 

      Artificial sweeteners and colours can trigger allergic reactions and other health problems, while parabens have been related to hormone disruption. Propylene glycol can potentially irritate the respiratory tract, skin, and eyes. Avoiding these substances can maintain better dental and general health.

      2. Is fluoride in toothpaste harmful?

      Fluoride in toothpaste helps prevent cavities by fortifying tooth enamel; excessive fluoride exposure can be hazardous. Too much fluoride can cause dental fluorosis, which discolours or leaves white patches on teeth, especially in young children. 

      Although fluoride is normally safe when used as instructed, to prevent potential toxicity, it's crucial to use the proper amount and ensure kids don't swallow toothpaste.

      3. How can I identify harmful ingredients in my toothpaste?

      Carefully read the label to determine which components in your toothpaste are dangerous. Watch for substances such as propylene glycol, artificial sweeteners (such as saccharin), parabens, triclosan, and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). Get acquainted with these names, and if any of the ingredients sound unfamiliar, quickly conduct an internet search. 

      Making a list of dangerous compounds in toothpaste products can help you more quickly identify and avoid them.

      4. What are the benefits of using natural toothpaste?

      One advantage of natural toothpaste is that it doesn't include any dangerous ingredients like parabens, SLS, or triclosan. It frequently includes organic antibacterial and anti-inflammatory components that are good for your mouth, like miswak, clove, and neem. 

      Additionally, natural toothpaste is kinder to the mouth and less likely to cause irritation or allergic responses. It is also composed of sustainable ingredients and is not harmful to the environment.

      5. Can Ayurvedic toothpaste effectively clean teeth?

      Yes, teeth can be effectively cleaned with Ayurvedic toothpaste. It contains natural components with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities, such as neem, clove, and miswak. 

      These components support maintaining general oral hygiene, preventing gum disease, and reducing plaque. Ayurvedic toothpaste promotes healthy teeth and gums without using artificial chemicals, providing a natural and comprehensive approach to dental care.

      6. Are there any side effects of using natural toothpaste?

      Natural toothpaste is often safer and has fewer adverse effects than conventional toothpaste. Nonetheless, certain natural substances may cause adverse reactions in certain individuals. 

      Carefully read the ingredient list to ensure you are not allergic to any ingredients, such as essential oils. Overall, natural toothpaste is kinder to the mouth and less likely to cause discomfort or negative reactions.

      7. How often should I use Ayurvedic oral care practices like oil pulling?

      For optimal effects, oil pulling should be done daily. Before you eat or drink in the morning, do some oil pulling. Swish a tablespoon of oil—such as sesame or coconut oil—in your mouth for fifteen to twenty minutes. Then, spit it out and rinse with warm water. Regular use can lessen plaque, enhance dental cleanliness, and advance general health.

      8. Where can I buy natural or Ayurvedic toothpaste?

      Natural products, organic supermarkets, and health food stores carry natural or Ayurvedic toothpaste. There is also a large selection of natural and Ayurvedic toothpaste options available on specific health websites like Zanducare and online marketplaces.


      Zandu Ayurvedic Team

      Zandu Ayurvedic Team has a panel of over 10 BAMS (Ayurvedacharya), boasting a collective experience of over 50 years. With a deep-rooted understanding of Ayurveda, they are committed to sharing their expertise & knowledge through our blogs.
      We use all kinds of Ayurvedic references in our content. Please use the contact form for any editorial queries.

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