Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is the stuff most often used in toothpaste to make it foam. While debate continues as to how much of a health risk it may pose, new research has shown that it may cause breakdown of the mouth’s soft oral tissues.
A study recently published in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene found that SLS, as well as Adinol and Tego Betain – two other detergents – decreased cell viability after a two minute exposure followed by washing and 24 hour incubation period. The increased cell death was noticeable for all concentrations tested.
It must be noted that these exposures were conducted in vitro, not in the human mouth, and the research team pointed out the possibility that saliva could neutralize the effects of such detergents.
Even so, we think such results give another good reason to avoid the popular brands of toothpaste and choose one that is both SLS- and fluoride-free, such as Oxyfresh Power Paste, Burt’s Bees toothpastes or Trader Joe’s Fennel Toothpaste.