Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS), is an ingredient in most commercially produced toothpaste.

SLS creates a generous lather, and acts to thicken toothpaste.  SLS has the added bonus of being a cheap ingredient, hence the reason it is so widely used among commercially produced toothpaste.

While many people equate a foamy lather with cleansing action, this isn’t true.  SLS may create a foam when incorporated in toothpaste, but it does not actually act as an effective cleanser.

Given the pervasiveness of SLS in toothpaste today, it’s unfortunate that SLS has been directly linked to canker sore occurrence.  SLS has been shown to irritate the mucus membranes of the mouth.

SLS irritates the mouth while providing no cleansing benefit.  It’s only included in toothpaste to convince customers that the toothpaste is working through a lathering action which does nothing other than look impressive.

If you are a canker sore sufferer, your first step should be to review the ingredients on your toothpaste.  Odds are good your current toothpaste has SLS as an ingredient.

Below are two fantastic toothpastes that do not contain SLS.  Either of these are excellent choices as you’ll see from the hundreds of customer reviews, though I’m partial to Jason Sea Fresh.

Jason Sea Fresh Strengthening Paste

This is a typical review on Amazon:

I switched to only toothpastes without Sodium Lauryl Sulfate years ago, as those with always seemed to give me canker sores. Had been using Sensodyne for years, and it is a great product, but I’ve always missed my old Arm & Hammer baking soda toothpaste, as it leaves my teeth feeling extra smooth and clean (and I, personally, like that baking soda flavor). After trying a handful of natural toothpastes without the SLS, I found this one, which leaves the same extra-clean feeling that Arm & Hammer has. I love this stuff. Tastes great, feels clean, and I like that there aren’t the chemicals that mainstream products have.

Tom’s of Maine Botanically Bright Whitening Toothpaste

This is a typical review on Amazon:

I have been dealing with canker sores my entire life. After doing some reading i found most sources led to this toothpaste. What a difference. Although i cant say i have still not had a sore since, but i will bet my paycheck that i don’t get half the one’s i did before. Anyone that has had canker sores knows that you cant put a price tag on making them go away. We often forget that we would also pay anything to not make them appear. A little preventative goes along way and this is the biggest one i have found yet. Wish i would have switched over sooner.


If neither of these toothpastes seem attractive, Amazon has a large selection of SLS free toothpastes.  Whatever toothpaste you go with, make sure it is SLS free.