What’s the Problem With Glycerine In Toothpaste?

Most of you are probably already aware of the problems with medicating our municipal water supply with fluoride, and likewise with other sources we can bring into our own homes, such as fluoridated toothpaste. If you aren’t yet aware of this, please go and research the dangers of fluoride before you read the rest of today’s blog post, and before you buy another tube of fluoridated toothpaste!

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I’d like to point out the next health issue worth considering for your dental health. The reasons we brush our teeth include hygiene, as well as the prevention of tooth decay or cavities. Leaving aside the dietary factors contributing to greater or lesser health of our teeth, the issue of what we put on our toothbrush can also be a contributing factor to cavitation.

A common ingredient in just about every brand of toothpaste, natural, or non, is glycerine. In itself, it is not toxic, and otherwise not worthy of our attention regarding our general health. However, when glycerine is spread over the surface of our teeth, it leaves a film or residue which does not easily come off — it can take somewhere between two and three dozen rinsings of the mouth to completely remove it. I think it would be a safe bet to say that everyone reading this blog does not rinse their mouth that many times after brushing their teeth.

So, what is the concern with having this glycerine film on our teeth? The thing is, that our teeth are neither static or solid, as we tend to imagine them, and they are continually in a process of flux of demineralization and remineralization. Elements such as calcium and phosphorous, amongst others, are continually flowing out of our teeth, through the bloodstream to other parts of the body, while a new influx is continuously flowing back into the teeth. Imagining this very living process certainly adds more weight to the role of proper nutrition, as our whole body is constantly in a state of rebuilding or repairing one thing, or another.

The film of glycerine residue from toothpaste which coats our teeth blocks this natural demineralization / remineralization process, and therefore creates the conditions of accelerated tooth decay or cavitation in our mouths. Even when someone’s diet and oral hygiene habits are “perfect” for having healthy teeth, this issue with the glycerine-based toothpastes can be enough to create very undesirable and unexpected results in the mouth.

There are a variety of commercial alternatives to toothpaste available, such as tooth soap (your mother always threatened to wash your mouth out with soap!), or tooth powders, such as “Theraneem Naturals” which was recently stocked at The Feel Good Store here in Saint John. These are all glycerine and fluoride free, and you can explore the variety of textures and flavours as suit your taste the best.

4 thoughts on “What’s the Problem With Glycerine In Toothpaste?

  1. Tess Freeman

    I use just himalayan salt water to brush my teeth (very inexpensive), sometimes with a few drops of essential peppermint oil. I used to get patches of bright white on my front teeth, where it looked like the enamel had worn away but this doesn’t happen anymore. I have noticed if I go even 1 day using a (natural) glycerin containing toothpaste, the next morning the patches are back.

  2. Helen Clare Jones

    I get so frustrated with conventional medical and dental practice; why can it not be unquestionably established that glycerin inhibits remineralisation? It’s surely not that difficult to establish the facts surrounding this issue.
    Tessa Freeman has proved to herself that glycerine is harmful to dental health and I’ve done the same. Dentists wrecked my teeth with unnecessary amalgam fillings back in the ‘70s, but I allowed this to happen through pure ignorance. I was ignorant of the fact that, as with the entire human body, with proper diet and oral hygiene, teeth can heal from cavities (Ayurvedic dentists know this and I’ve FINALLY learned from them). I make my own toothpaste or oil pulling mixture from coconut oil ( raw organic) and a few drops of clove or other essential oil beneficial to teeth. I never touch shop bought toothpaste anymore. My teeth (what’s left of those that haven’t been bullet-riddled by amalgam fillings)
    Feel and look strong and healthy. I recently had two massive fillings fall out of my two upper molars, but I would never go near a dentist again and have been treating these teeth (stumps really) for the past four years. It hasn’t been easy. I’ve kept infection at bay by using garlic and various essential oils appropriate for healing and cleansing teeth and I’ve developed my own tooth prosthetic using a herbal pack, lint dressing, then cover this with dental “White Morph” -a melt and mouldable material that hardens over the tooth/teeth. This pack is changed 1-2 times a day and I have to be very strict about my oral hygiene AND diet. No sugar!
    My problem hasn’t been pain, as I said, but a persistent sphenoid sinus drip that, until recently, was becoming worrying; I’d feel mucus slipping down my throat and panic about choking. Also I’d get sporadic headaches and feelings of malaise but quickly recovered from these bouts.
    At times I thought I was going to die from this, either by choking or from some sort of toxicity that might be seeping into my system from the exposed roots acting as conduits into my brain/ bloodstream. Even so, I still didn’t trust any dentist. So I have now stepped up my diet and only allow myself fresh vegetables, certain fruits, herbs, nuts and fish and my sinus problem has subsided. As for my broken upper molars, they are and have for some time, been pain free and stable due to my own vigilance and care.
    I simply see myself as having no choice whatsoever in this. As far as I’m concerned (and based on past experience in the dentist’s chair where I’ve almost died from a badly administered local anaesthetic) I can only trust one person to deal with all aspects my health, and that’s me.

  3. Thomas

    Look for a paper called: The Effect of 10% Carbamide Peroxide, Carbopol and/or Glycerin on Enamel and Dentin Microhardness by the Academy of Operative Dentistry

    > Glycerin also presented slight decreases in microhardness for sound enamel and dentin, similar to the effect of carbamide peroxide. It could act as an adsorbed layer barrier to artificial saliva and to a remineralizing effect.

    It took the artificial saliva about 1,344 hours (you read that right) to remove the glycerin from the teeth and restore its hardness.

  4. reception

    Hi Thomas,

    Thank you for your time and this valuable information.


    – Diane Nowlan
    Office Manager, Arcaum Wholistic Clinic

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