Think about the last time you got a canker sore. Were you able to link it to a specific action? Perhaps that oh-so-acidic pineapple gave you just a slight chemical burn on the inside of your cheek. Maybe, in an overly exuberant quest for the whitest of pearly whites, you brushed a part of your mouth not covered in protective dentin and scratched your gums or cheek.
For those times we can’t point the finger at an event and say “that’s what caused my canker sore,” most of us will suffer through the pain and lengthy healing process of a canker sore without knowing the cause.
Of all the potential causes, the most unexpected and widespread of canker sore causes is sodium lauryl sulfate(SLS). SLS is present in almost every commercially available toothpaste.
Much like a night out on the town drinking will impede your immune system, leaving one vulnerable to infection, SLS strips the mouth’s outermost protective lining. This lining is the first defense against the various causes of canker sores. Unlike a night on the town, which we all know should be practiced in moderation, it is not common knowledge that your toothpaste is damaging the integrity of your mouth’s mucus membranes.
Fortunately, this all has an easy fix. Look at the ingredients in your toothpaste. Does it contain SLS? If the answer is yes, toss that baby in the trash and never look back. There are a variety of effective toothpastes that will leave your mouth feeling fresh and your teeth white without stripping your mouth’s protective layers and increasing your odds of having canker sores.
The below toothpastes are endorsed by canker.org as outstanding SLS-free toothpaste.
Check out our article on SLS for more information and recommendations for toothpaste that does not contain SLS.