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Why Choose Toothpastes Without Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Updated on May 31, 2013

SLS-Free Toothpaste


Canker Sores Linked to Toothpaste with SLS

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is a common ingredient in industrial products such as engine degreasers, floor cleaners, and car wash soaps. Guess where else it's found? In toothpaste, shampoo, shaving cream and bubble bath.

So why would manufacturers put something like that in products we use in and on our bodies every day? Because SLS is great at creating a lather. The problem is that it's also been linked to canker sores. Anyone who has recurrent canker sores may want to consider switching to toothpastes without sodium lauryl sulfate.

SLS Free Toothpastes Without Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Toothpastes Without Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Are Easy to Find

Studies have shown that sodium lauryl sulfate isn't carcinogenic, but it has been shown to cause skin irritation when used for a prolonged period, and it has also been linked to a higher incidence of canker sores, also called aphthous ulcers. These small lesions in your mouth aren't contagious, but they can be painful and make it difficult to eat or talk.

Changing toothpaste may be one easy way to decrease the frequency of getting canker sores. One study quoted on Wikipedia noted that test subjects who switched from a toothpaste containing sodium lauryl sulfate to an SLS-free toothpaste showed a "statistically significant decrease" in the number of canker sores from 14.3 to 5.1.

Of course, not ALL canker sores are caused by toothpaste. The Mayo Clinic lists a number of factors that can lead to canker sores, including minor mouth injuries, food allergies, hormones, stress, and, yes, toothpastes with sodium lauryl sulfate.

Fortunately, it's not difficult to find SLS-free toothpastes. Brands such as Tom's of Maine, Kiss My Face and Burt's Bees all make toothpastes without sodium lauryl sulfate.

If you're looking for a way to cut down on canker sores, they're definitely worth a try.

Should All Toothpastes Be SLS Free?

Do you think only toothpastes without sodium lauryl sulfate should be sold?

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Have You Tried Any Toothpastes Without Sodium Lauryl Sulfate?

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    • hulah cagen profile image

      hulah cagen 4 years ago

      Yes I switched to using toothpaste wo SLS about two years ago. Its always best to check into into the ingredients even if it says 'natural' in the products including soaps and shampoos. Nature's Gate is what I have been using. Thank you for the article.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      It's a good idea to check out ingredients of everything we use, toothpaste being no exception. Thanks for highlighting this concern about sodium lauryl sulfate.

    • profile image

      UrsulaRose 6 years ago

      Thank you for writing a useful hub article. I been using a SLS-free and flouride-free toothpaste for years in order to reduce to amount of unnecessary chemicals I ingest.

      I always use SLS-free body products such as soaps, shampoo, conditioner, moisturisers,etc. :-)

    • lisa42 profile image

      lisa42 6 years ago from Sacramento

      You're correct - vitamin deficiency is another cause of canker sores, but it's not the only one. The Mayo Clinic lists 14 different causes, including SLS. So toothpaste is not always the culprit, but studies have shown a definite link.

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      I have never heard of this! I have a fitness client I MUST share this with. I had always heard canker sores were an indicator of vitamin deficiency. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!