Reactions to toothpaste

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Reactions to toothpaste
Tootpaste ingredients are harmless to most people. (Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Toothpaste plays an essential role in keeping teeth and gums healthy but. For some people, however, it can cause adverse effects. The toothpaste ingredients used to provide flavour are amongst those that are most likely to trigger a reaction. While it is rare to experience a hypersensitivity to toothpaste, and less common in men than in women, those who do suffer from the condition can experience reactions including blisters, ulcers, swelling and dry skin.

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Stomatitis

Ingredients found in toothpaste can cause some people to develop stomatitis, a condition that affects many areas of the mouth. The lips, tongue, roof or any other area of the mouth can become red and swollen and begin to peel. The condition is also often accompanied by a burning pain in the mouth. In some toothpaste users, stomatitis can also cause gum conditions, mouth ulcers or blisters.

Swollen lips

Contact urticaria is one of the conditions caused by toothpaste hypersensitivity that affects the lips, causing the lips to swell as soon as they come into contact with toothpaste. Cheilitis can also be caused by a hypersensitivity to toothpaste ingredients. The symptoms of cheilitis, often linked to mint and cinnamon flavourings in toothpaste, also affect the lips. The condition can cause lips to become dry, itchy and inflamed. Other symptoms of cheilitis include pain and blisters across the lip area.

Angioedema

Some people can develop angioedema when their mouths are exposed to the allergens in toothpaste ingredients. The condition causes general swelling around the mouth, including the tongue, lips and the insides of the cheeks. While the condition does not cause itchiness and pain as some of the other toothpaste-linked conditions do, it can become serious. If angioedema is left untreated, the swelling around the mouth can spread to the throat and prevent the patient from being able to breathe.

Skin reactions

Although toothpaste is used inside the mouth, the reaction to its ingredients can affect the skin around the exterior of the mouth. Perioral leukoderma is a condition associated with some toothpaste ingredients that can result in the skin around the mouth appearing much whiter than skin elsewhere. Another condition known as perioral dermatitis can be triggered by using toothpaste and can cause sufferers to develop redness and a bumpy texture to the skin around the mouth, sometimes accompanied by peeling skin. The condition can resemble acne, particularly if the bumps begin to develop pus. One further toothpaste-linked condition that can result in a skin condition resembling acne is rosacea, causing skin to become red and develop sores.

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