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This is the long awaited article in order to understand our daily toothpaste ingredients. I could write only on the famous international and Indian brands like Pepsodent, Colgate, CloseUp, Babool, Meswak, Neem, Sensodyne and Signal (click to see photo). They should cover majority of the global toothpaste market. If your toothpaste is not one of these, simply check ingredients on the tube and know the possible hazards.
Surprisingly, the brand names like Babool, Neem, Meswak also have lots of chemicals. Only thing is they additionally got extract of some herbs which is not going to reduce the harms from other added chemicals. Some toothpaste only describe the herbal content but not the other chemicals used in the paste.

The aim of this article is not to de-motivate oral hygiene. This article attempts neither to promote/demote any particular brand nor is a claim that the used chemicals are not beneficial at all is made. Its simply to bring forward the possible risks hidden behind the strong marketing campaigns of modern toothpastes. The list below is not all inclusive and for indication purpose only. The RISKS mentioned vary between persons, doses, method of injection, concentration and various other factors.
Why should dentifrice have harmful chemicals obtained from poor animals? Companies would never declare the unhuman source of the ingredients. Therefore, tooth powder with natural constituents is always better and healthier alternative because use of finger additionally offers massage to the gums which can never be achieved by toothbrush.


Claimed Purpose
Toothpaste Brands
Possible Health Hazards
Also used in/as
Usually obtained from/by
Benzyl Alcohol
Irritating to the upper respiratory tract, Headache, Nausea, Vomiting, Dizziness, Drop in blood pressure, CNS depression, and death in severe cases due to respiratory failure
Inks, Paints, Lacquers, Perfume, Cologne, Soap, Shampoo, Nail enamel remover, Air freshener, Laundry bleach, Detergent, Vaseline lotion, Deodorants, Fabric softener
Fruits, Teas, Oils, Hydrolysis of benzyl chloride using sodium hydroxide
Calcium Carbonate
Pepsodent, Signal, Babool, Meswak, Neem
Kidney stones, Stomach or bone pain, Constipation, Headaches, Nausea or Comas
Cement, Chalk, Emulsion paints, Adhesives, Sealants, Decorating fillers, Ceramics
Chalk, Mining or quarrying
Calcium Gluconate
Anti Poisonous
Nausea, Constipation, Stomach upset, Renal plasma flow, Diuresis, Natriuresis, Vasodilation, Cardiac arrhythmias, Decreased blood Pressure, Bradycardia
Mineral supplement, Hypocalcemia, Treatment of HF burns, Hyperkalemia
Calcium salt of gluconic acid
Colgate, Babool, Meswak, Neem
Suppressing immune function, Probable Carcinogen
Shoe Polish, Beer, Processed meat, Shampoo
Cellulose Gum
Pepsodent, Signal, Babool, CloseUp, Meswak
Paints, Detergents, Textile sizing
Cellulose and chloroacetic acid
Cocamidopropyl Betaine
Colgate, Sensodyne
Allergic reactions
Shampoos, Hair conditioners, Hand soap, Bubble bath, Shower gels, Industrial cleaning Formulations
Coconut oil and dimethylaminopropylamine
Signal, Babool, Meswak
Carcinogen, Highly toxic to humans, Ingestion of as little as 30 mL of a solution containing 37% formaldehyde has been reported to cause death
Resins, Disinfectant and biocide, Tissue fixative and embalming agent, Photography
Catalytic oxidation of methanol
Colgate, Sensodyne, Neem
Low toxic, Anal irritation, Burning sensation, Diarrhea, Gas, Nausea,  Stomach cramps
Liqueurs, Snus, Pharma, Soaps, Shaving cream
Byproduct of soap-making
Hydrated Silica
Abrasive, Thickener
Pepsodent, Colgate, Signal, Sensodyne, Babool, CloseUp, Meswak, Neem
Persistent, Bioaccumulative in wildlife and humans, Can damage tooth enamel
Paints, Varnish, Beer
Natural ore
Limonene (Orange Flavor)
Skin and respiratory irritant, treated as hazardous waste for disposal
Cosmetics, BioFuel
Signal, Neem
When applied on the skin may react with UVB leading to increased skin aging and DNA damage
Cosmetics, Personal care products, Food preservative (E218), Fungicide
Binder, Humectant
Pepsodent, Signal, CloseUp
Contains toxins that affect reproduction, Probable Carcinogen
Carcinogen and contains toxins that affect reproduction. Slightly hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant, permeator), of eye contact (irritant), of ingestion, of inhalation.
Lubricant in tyre manufacturing, Plasticiser for sponges and synthetic leather, Paper softner,  Anti curl agent, Flux for soldering, Intermediate in resin manufacturing
Potassium Nitrate
Dentine hypersensitivit
Coughing and shortness of breath, Skin or eye contact may result in irritation such as redness, itching and pain. If ingested, can cause Blue lips and Fingernails, Abdominal pain, Dizziness, Nausea, Vomiting and Diarrhea
Fertilizers, Rocket propellants, Fireworks, Gunpowder, Fire extinguisher
Combination of ammonium nitrate and potassium hydroxide
Propylene Glycol
Absorbant, Stabilizer
Low chronic oral toxicity, Can produce slight transient conjunctivitis, Exposure to mists may cause eye irritation, as well as upper respiratory tract irritation
Toiletries, Pharmaceuticals, polyester compounds, Deicing solution, Artificial smoke, Paintballs, Coolant, Solvent
Propylene oxide
Signal, Neem
Hormone mimicking properties, Carcinogen (may cause breast cancer), Itching, Burning, Scaling, Hives and Blistering of skin in sensitive individuals
Cosmetics, Personal care products, Food preservative (E216), Fungicide
Plants, Insects
Sodium Carboxymethyl Cellulose
Colgate, Neem
Ice cream, Explosives, Paints, Plywood, K-Y Jelly, Laxatives, Detergents, Textile sizing, Welding electrodes
Alkali-catalyzed reaction of cellulose with chloroacetic acid
Sodium Fluoride
Anticaries agent
Pepsodent, Colgate, Signal, Sensodyne, CloseUp
Carcinogen, Developmental/reproductive toxicity, Endocrine disruption, Thyroid disease, Fluoride is more toxic than lead (5-10 gm dose for a 70 Kg person is lethal)
Pesticides, including fungicides and insecticides, Laundry scour, Desilylation, Glass frosting, Stainless steel pickling
Neutralizing the byproduct of superphosphate fertilizer
Sodium Hydroxide (Caustic Soda)
pH Regulator
Colgate, Sensodyne
Neurotoxicity, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Irritation of the respiratory tract, Pulmonary edema, Severe skin burns with deep ulceration and permanent scarring
Detergents, Drain cleaning, Aluminium production, Caustic washing of crude oil, Paper making
Electrolytic chloralkali process
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SDS, NaDS)
Detergent, Surfactant
Pepsodent, Colgate, Signal, Sensodyne, Babool, CloseUp, Meswak, Neem
Eczema, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)
Garages as engine degreaser and to mop the oil strained floors, Shampoo, Shaving foams
Lauryl alcohol with sulfur trioxide gas and then neutralized through sodium hydroxide or sodium carbonate
Sodium Monofluorophosphate
Anticaries agent
Pepsodent, Signal, Neem
Developmental/reproductive toxicity
Osteoporosis, Fluorination for drinking water, Bactericide medicine and Flushing agent for metal surface
Hydrolysis of difluorophosphate ions with dilute sodium hydroxide
Sodium Saccharine
Pepsodent, Colgate, Signal, Sensodyne, Babool, CloseUp, Meswak, Neem
No food energy, leads to an increase in cell proliferation of the urothelium. Studies in laboratory rats during the early 1970s linked saccharin with the development of bladder cancer. Later studies could not find such evidence with humans. Who knows what comes next?
Canned fruit, Flavored gelatin, Dessert toppings, Diet sodas, Baked goods, Jams, Chewing gum, Candies
Anthranilic acid reacting with nitrous acid, sulfur dioxide, chlorine, and then ammonia
Sodium Silicate
Babool, Meswak, Neem
Irritation of mucous membranes, Burning sensation, Coughing or shortness of breath, Nausea, Vomiting, Can cause severe gastrointestinal irritation that presents with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
Adhesive, Cements, Passive fire protection, Refractories, Textile and lumber processing, Automobiles, Drilling fluids, Detergent auxiliaries
Sodium carbonate and silicon dioxide react
Pepsodent, Colgate, Signal, Sensodyne, Babool, CloseUp, Meswak, Neem
Irritable bowel syndrome, Severe abdominal pain, Gas, Severe diarrhea
Sugar substitue, Laxative, Cosmetics, Chewing gums
sorbitol-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, succinate dehydrogenase, sorbitol dehydrogenase
Specially Denatured Alcohol 38 B
Solvent, Thinner
Unpalatable but otherwise seems to be non-poisonous
Cosmetic Astringent, Solvent, Viscosity Decreasing Agent
Mixing ethanol with a denaturing agent
Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate
Tartar controlling agent
Toxicity is approximately twice that of table salt when ingested orally
Food additive as palatability enhancer, Detergents, Instant puddings
Sodium tripolyphosphate and a sodium salt
Titanium Dioxide
Dye, Opaque
Pepsodent, Sensodyne
IARC has determined that titanium dioxide is possibly carcinogenic to humans based on inadequate evidence in humans and sufficient evidence in experimental animals.
Sunscreen and UV absorber, Photocatalyst, Electronic data storage medium
Naturally occurring oxide of titanium
Endocrine disruption, Allergic, Reacts with the chlorine in the tab water to form chloroform gas and chlorinated dioxins, both known carcinogens
Pesticide, Deodorants, Shower gels
2,4,4'-trichloro-2'-methoxydiphenyl ether with aluminium chloride in benzene under reflux
Trisodium Phosphate
Chronic Toxicity is known but is not believed to be significant for low concentration
Automatic dishwashing soaps, Toilet bowl cleaners, Stain remover and degreaser, Flux for hard soldering
Sodium hydroxide with the filtrate of phosphoric acid and soda ash
30 ml of oil of wintergreen is equivalent to 55.7 g of aspirin, or about 171 adult aspirin tablets. This illustrates the potency and potential toxicity of oil of wintergreen even in small quantities. 7.07 gm can be a lethal dose for a 70-kg adult.
Rubefacient, Chewing Gum, Candies, Root beer, Glacial acetic acid, Antiseptic
Xanthan Gum
Respiratory symptoms, Necrotizing enterocolitis, Allergen
Cosmetics, Drilling operation, Salat dressing, Suace, Frozen food, Ice creams
Corn, Wheat, Dairy, Soya
Zinc citrate trihydrate
Side effects include nausea, vomiting and upset stomach. Taking high doses may result in headaches, drowsiness, dizziness, hallucinations, sweating, lack of coordination, anemia, intolerance to alcohol, weakened immune system functioning and increased cholesterol
Dietary supplement, Oral care products
Zinc compounds


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