Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Canker Sores – What You Need To Know
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) in toothpaste and mouthwash is thought to be a potential cause of canker sores in the mouth. But what exactly is it? Let’s take a look.
What is this stuff in my toothpaste?
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a type of abrasive detergent. It is also known as a surfactant, which breaks down the surface tension of water. It can actually damage the outer layer of the skin, causing dryness, roughness, scaling, fissuring, loss of flexibility and reduction of the barrier functions of normal healthy skin.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is used in concrete floor cleaners, engine degreasers, and car wash detergents, along with hundreds of personal care products including many brands of mouthwash and probably every major brand of toothpaste you can find.
Why is it used in toothpaste?
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is currently the primary foaming agent of Western civilization. It is a wetting and dispersing agent, emulsifier, degreaser and foamer. It also increases skin permeability roughly 100 times and is used in lotions to increase absorption of micronutrients through the skin.
It is used in toothpaste to make it foam and also so the paste will stay together when coming out of the machines. Unfortunately it also aggravates the gums causing irritation. A University of Oslo (Norway) report states that individuals with gum disease had their symptoms cleared 40 times faster when non-SLS toothpaste was used.
Here is a toothpaste that contains
NO Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
Yikes! What else should I know about it?
Now, there's evidence SLS may aggravate canker sores. Some people suffer from apthous ulcers, commonly known as fever blisters or canker sores, inside the mouth. There is a possibility that recurrent canker sores may be due to an allergic reaction to Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS).
You can find brands of toothpaste made without SLS. So, if you suffer from painful recurring canker sores, it may be worthwhile to invest in toothpaste products that do not contain it. Check the toothpaste you use. If Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is listed on the package, you might want to try a different kind of toothpaste.
For a more thorough explanation of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) in toothpaste, and how it is being linked to canker sores through research, I highly recommend this article by Dr. Harold Katz, of the California Breath Clinics.