Brushing your teeth is a healthy habit, but a recent study suggests that a chemical in the toothpaste might actually be harmful.
The Study That Linked Triclosan To Gut Health Problems
A new study has confirmed that triclosan, a chemical found in household goods such as toothpaste, can cause colon inflammation and cancer. This is the first time that the chemical has been linked to gut health problems.
The study was published on May 30 in the journal Science Translation Medicine.
Researchers experimented on mice to determine the effects of the chemical. The mice who consumed triclosan experienced inflammation of the colon. Further research into humans should be conducted to measure the scope of the chemical's damage.
Numerous products contain triclosan, such as cleaning products and furniture. Washing products, such as hand sanitizer, had the chemical until 2016 when the FDA banned it. However, the FDA did not ban the chemical from other products.
One study found that 75 percent of the population had been in contact with the chemical. It is currently found in over 2,000 consumer products because it is good at destroying bacteria.
Researchers recommended that federal officials determine new regulations to protect the public from the chemical, as even a small amount of triclosan can be dangerous.
What Does This Have To Do With Toothpaste?
Although soaps and sanitizers are banned from including the chemical in production, the FDA did not ban it from other products, such as toothpaste. That means the public can still get in direct contact with the chemical.
What makes toothpaste more dangerous than other products is that people stick it in their mouths. It can go between the gums, on the teeth, and into the bloodstream. In addition, it could remain on toothbrushes long after use. That means if a user switches toothpaste, the toothbrush could still be dangerous.
Which Toothpastes Have Triclosan?
Several types of toothpaste from Colgate still contain triclosan. Popular toothbrush brand Reach also has products with the chemical in it as well. A 2013 review found that a triclosan and fluoride combination was better at reducing plaque and gingivitis than just fluoride.
Colgate Total's manufacturer, Colgate-Palmolive, told Consumer Reports that the amount of the chemical in the toothpaste is less than other toothpaste with triclosan. Its products are also approved as safe and effective by the FDA.
Some dentists are suggesting that patients only use toothpaste without triclosan until the FDA offers a new ruling.