Misleading and Confusing

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS Nutritional Periodontist
June 19, 2017 [printfriendly]

ToothpasteThe first commercially produced toothpaste was launched in 1873 by Colgate and sold in a jar. Today, there are over 1400 different types of toothpastes available online and in stores. But, is toothpaste even necessary?

As with most things, there is controversy about toothpaste. Dental companies frequently advertise their products in misleading and confusing ways. The general public becomes the victim of this misinformation.

Here are my thoughts:


Is Toothpaste Necessary?

First of all, you do not need toothpaste to clean your teeth. The mechanical removal of unhealthy dental plaque using just a toothbrush, floss, and tiny brushes that clean between teeth are all that are necessary. No toothpaste is necessary to remove unhealthy clumps of bacteria and food debris.

The next fact is that tooth brushing would not be so critical if you ate a nutrient-dense diet that was anti-inflammatory. Here is a peer-reviewed research paper that was published in 2016. It showed that a healthy diet would decrease the signs and symptoms of active gum disease without the rigors of cleaning between the teeth.

However, don’t get me wrong. It is important to remove unhealthy dental plaque from around the tooth. Brushing and flossing will help. And, toothpaste can offer a pleasant way to clean your teeth. Unfortunately, marketing claims can be misleading, confusing, and downright false.


Chemicals In Conventional Toothpaste

Most conventional toothpastes in the marketplace include chemicals that are harsh to the teeth and gums. While these chemicals may make toothpaste “feel smooth” or “taste good” or “help to whiten teeth” or “coat the teeth to prevent decay”, these chemicals are unhealthy overall. Toothpaste companies will not share the truth of these potentially harmful chemicals with you.

In addition, several of these chemicals may be toxic to the body when they get into the systemic circulation.

Here are some chemicals that might be in your toothpaste:

  • Aluminum hydroxide
  • Aspartame
  • Carrageenan
  • DEA (diethanolamine)
  • Flavorings
  • Fluoride
  • Food coloring
  • Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives
  • Parabens
  • Potassium sorbate
  • Propylene glycol
  • Sodium benzoate
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Sodium saccharin
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Triclosan


Claims By Toothpaste Manufacturers

Most commercial toothpaste companies make claims that their toothpastes are necessary if you wanted to clean your teeth effectively. The ads suggest that you would not be able to clean your teeth and your mouth if you were not using their products. These statements are false. Toothpaste is not necessary to make your mouth clean or healthy.

Also, some dental manufacturers suggest that their toothpaste is organic. In August 2016, a well-known dental manufacturer was ordered to remove false claims from its website that stated one of its toothpaste brands was “organic” and that “the USDA did not have standards for toothpastes regarding the word Organic”. In fact, (1) this company’s toothpaste did not have any organic ingredients in its formula, and (2) the USDA does have strict regulations regarding the use of the word “Organic” on toothpaste products.


The Bottom Line

Toothpaste is not necessary to clean your teeth. The mechanical cleaning with dental floss and various sized brushes will adequately clean your teeth. But more importantly, your mouth would be healthier if you ate foods that were nutrient-dense and anti-inflammatory.

If you wanted to use toothpaste, be aware of the ingredients on the label. There are a few brands that can state they are Made With Organic Ingredients, which means that 70% of their ingredients is Certified Organic, excluding water and salt. There are very few that may claim they are Organic and would be allowed to use the USDA Organic Seal, which means that 95% of their ingredients is Certified Organic, excluding water and salt.

Note: I could not find any brand that was 100% Organic, which would mean that every ingredient in the toothpaste was Certified Organic, excluding water and salt.


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My Favorite Paleo Recipes:
Anti-Inflammatory Applesauce

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS Nutritional Periodontist
November 20, 2016 [printfriendly]



anti-inflammatory-applesauceApples have been studied for their anti-inflammatory benefits and their ability to improve the gut microbiome. This recipe is so easy. I make a big batch of it by tripling the ingredients. My wife and I love eating this frequently. One cup equals about two apples, which are the ideal amount to create anti-inflammatory benefits in the body. I’ve added sliced pears and watermelon as garnish.

Anti-Inflammatory Applesauce



  • 12 Organic apples
  • Water for steamer pot
  • 2 Tsp cinnamon




  1. Core apples with peels on, and cut them into small pieces.
  2. Place apples into covered steamer, and steam for about 20 minutes until apples are soft.
  3. Place steamed apples into heavy-duty blender like a Vitamix® or Nutribullet®.
  4. Add cinnamon and blend mixture to desired consistency.
  5. Serve hot, or refrigerate and serve cold.
  6. Sprinkle additional cinnamon on top or add whole fruit if desired.




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Stinky Breath?
It’s More Than You Think!

        Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS       October 18, 2015

Interestingly, almost everything begins with our mouths. Certainly, our nourishment begins with our mouths. And, our mouths have become unhealthy – more unhealthy than ever before in our species’ 2.5 million-year journey. Stinky breath could be a manifestation of many diseases.

evolution rOver the course of 2.5 million years, our species evolved into a perfect machine. Dealing with a host of environments and demands, our genetic structure developed the abilities to become the master control center of our well-being. But beginning 10,000 years ago or so, our species has been progressively at odds with our genetic code. In many aspects we have become an unhealthy people. Our modern lifestyles have brought us to the brink of either continuing on a destructive path or taking steps to repair our body.

However, for the most part, we do have control over these missteps. You may be surprised that poor lifestyle choices cause chronic inflammation, which in turn is a major factor in many of today’s diseases.

A study published in 2012 showed that 47.2% of the adult population over the age of 30 in the United States had periodontitis (which translated to 64.7 million Americans), and an astounding 70.1% of those over the age of 65 had this disease.

Periodontitis is more serious than gingivitis, which is inflammation only in the gum tissue. Periodontitis is an advanced stage of gum disease where the gums are infected and the bone surrounding the roots of the teeth are breaking down. This disease leads to bad breath, loose teeth, loss of teeth, sensitive teeth, pain, gum recession, and even spread of infection to other parts of the body. Gum disease is an important thread of integrative medicine.

Obviously, our primal ancestors did not have toothbrushes and did not see a dentist every 6 months, but they had relatively healthy mouths. They hardly ever had gum disease or tooth decay. Why?

Today, many people see a dentist every 6 months and also brush and floss daily, but they still have gum disease. How could that be? What we have learned to believe may not be so. Josh Billings (the 19th Century humorist) put it so clearly: “It ain’t so much the things we don’t know that get us into trouble. It’s the things we know that just ain’t so.”

The “whys & hows” are related to the nourishment we give ourselves and the lifestyles we lead. As I stated, our modern lifestyle has brought us to the brink of either continuing on a destructive path or taking steps to repair our body. The steps to repair our body do not have to be complicated.

The steps require an anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense diet and a lifestyle similar to those of our primal ancestors. This lifestyle includes efficient exercise, restorative sleep, and stress reduction. Whatever eventually happens on a cellular level anywhere in the body also affects the entire human complexity. All will be discussed in my new book titled, MODERN LIFESTYLE AT THE BRINK: Perspectives & Solutions from 2.5 Million Years of Evolution. Publication date is yet to be determined.