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Could Your Choice of Dry Mouth Toothpaste Cause Tissue Irritation?

Biotene® Dry Mouth Fluoride Toothpaste, one of the most popular brands of toothpaste marketed specifically for those who suffer with dry mouth (xerostomia), has a new formula. The packaging for the current product states a "New Improved pH Balance" but an added chemical could cause tissue irritation. While using toothpaste with this ingredient, called cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB), might be of little concern for most healthy individuals, those susceptible to skin irritations and mouth sores (mucositis)due to radiation therapy to the head and neck region or chemotherapy should use caution.

Cocamidopropyl betaine is a foaming agent which gives shampoos and detergents their texture and lathering properties. In 2001, the American Journal of Contact Dermatitis reported that allergies to cocamidopropyl betaine are "most commonly seen in a head and neck distribution."

In 2004, cocamidopropyl betaine was named the Allergen of the Year which is "an annual 'award' of dubious distinction voted upon by the American Contact Dermatitis Society." "This is designed to draw attention to allergens that are very common, under-recognized, merit more attention because they are causing significant allergic contact dermatitis..."

A pilot study conducted in 2006 cast doubt on the level of allergic reactions caused by cocamidopropyl betaine but concluded that, "...mild reactions to CAPB may represent irritant reactions as opposed to true allergic reactions." Whether the reactions are truly allergic or considered irritations, this could potentially cause serious concerns for cancer patients with compromised immune systems and high susceptibility to mouth sores and infection.

Please read the labels.  Everyone who is at high risk for tissue irritation and mouth sores should use caution when choosing oral hygiene products. Side Effect Support LLC is proud to offer toothpaste free of cocamidopropyl betaine and other irritating detergents. Please read the reviews and judge for yourself.

Additional resources:

Dangers of Cocamidopropyl Betaine via Livestrong

Allergic contact dermatitis to cocamidopropyl betaine in Colombia

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