Just Because It’s In Toothpaste
Doesn’t Mean It’s Safe
– Xylitol, Nano-hydroxyapatite, Fluoride, Activated Charcoal –

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

May 8, 2022

If you want to put something into your mouth, it should be compatible and healthy. Not just for your mouth, but also for the rest of your body! If it’s not, then why would you subject yourself to potential harm?

  • Would you drink water that contains lead?
  • Would you gargle with gasoline?
  • Would you eat arsenic?

Of course, you wouldn’t since you know that these elements could kill you.

But what if you didn’t know what you didn’t know?

What if you were told something is beneficial but the potential harm was not disclosed and intentionally hidden from you?

You’d be more than angry – you’d be irate!

So, let me bring this reality to you.


Teeth & Dental Plaque Are Unique

Here is a little-known fact. The only area of the body where a hard structure pierces the skin and enters the sterile bony structures is the tooth. Think about this for a moment …

Can you imagine the potential havoc that could occur if infection were to move down the tooth into the jawbone? Your jawbone could rot, and you could die.

But the body has solutions.

The body created a “healthy biofilm” to protect this susceptible area to prevent bacteria from sliding down the tooth into the bone. There are other protective structures under the gum that can alert the immune system to fight infections.

But first, this protective and healthy biofilm is the initial defense. It is called “dental plaque” and is composed of several hundred bacteria is a state of balance.

This natural biofilm serves at least three main functions. Healthy dental plaque …

  1. Allows necessary nutrients and minerals from the saliva to enter the root of the tooth to remineralize it as necessary 24/7.
  2. Produces hydrogen peroxide to kill any potentially pathogenic microbes in the mouth from getting to the gum/tooth margin
  3. Buffers the acidity around the gum/tooth margin to maintain an acid level of no more acidic than pH 5.5 to prevent decay of the root surface.

So, you don’t want to disturb or destroy this healthy dental plaque. Proper oral hygiene using a healthy toothpaste will not remove the thin layer of healthy dental plaque. Proper oral hygiene will only remove any excessive, unhealthy dental plaque.


Four Potentially Toxic Ingredients in Toothpastes

Four specific ingredients in various toothpastes are promoted as healthy and disease fighting.

  • Xylitol
  • Nano-hydroxyapatite
  • Fluoride
  • Activated Charcoal

But most people are confused about these ingredients because there are many published scientific papers that proclaim the benefits of them for the prevention of tooth decay and gum disease. But the far-reaching damage that these additives may cause to other parts of your body as well as to the garden of balanced bacteria in your mouth is not disclosed. And you need to be informed before you decide to use them in your mouth or to avoid them.



Xylitol will prevent a specific mouth bacterium (Strep mutans) from growing. Strep mutans is one of the bacteria that is responsible for tooth decay. But in a healthy mouth with a balance of bacteria, Strep mutans is part of the homeostatic community in healthy dental plaque without causing any harm. To destroy Strep mutans could disrupt the overall balance of bacteria and create an unhealthy overgrowth of other microbes.

Xylitol also prevents healthy dental plaque from forming and attaching to the root surface near the tooth/gum margin.[1] But healthy dental plaque is protective as I described above.

In addition, xylitol can damage the gut microbiome and create GI (gastrointestinal) disturbances.[2]



Hydroxyapatite is the calcium-phosphate mineral structure of tooth enamel. Nano-hydroxyapatite has a much smaller size than hydroxyapatite and can adhere to the existing hydroxyapatite in teeth and “fill in holes”. The effect is that it can reduce root sensitivity and mineralize and repair early tooth decay. Nano-hydroxyapatite is marketed as the healthier alternative to fluoride.

However, several medical papers have shown that “nano” particles can penetrate other cellular tissues in the body and become cytotoxic.[3] They also have the potential to damage the balance of healthy bacteria in the gut.[4],[5],[6] All “nano” particles have the potential to do more harm than good. Much unbiased research still needs to be done in this area of medicine before I am convinced that medical nanotechnology is unconditionally safe and proven effective.



For years, dentistry has been a proponent of fluoride in water and in toothpaste. The ideas are that fluoride will kill oral bacteria and prevent tooth decay and gum disease. And the American Dental Association (ADA)[7] and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)[8] still believe this to be the case.

However, much of the current science demonstrates potential overall harm when fluoride accumulates in the body. The IAOMT (International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology) put together this detailed paper describing the harm of fluoride. And the IABDM (International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine) published this paper about their position on fluoride and republished this paper on the ingestion of fluoride.


Activated Charcoal

Charcoal is a porous black solid form of carbon that is created by burning wood or other organic material. This charcoal can be burned again at higher temperatures to produce “activated charcoal”. Activated charcoal can bind to toxic elements primarily in the gut. It doesn’t remove toxic elements in the mouth and does not prevent tooth decay or gum disease as promoted by some dental product companies.[9] Activated charcoal can also bind to essential nutrients to induce vitamin deficiencies, dehydration, constipation, and even vomiting.[10],[11]

In toothpaste, activated charcoal also is promoted to help whiten teeth. However, it is abrasive and could possibly damage or remove the outer layer of the tooth, which is the enamel. If some of the enamel is removed by activated charcoal, a more yellow under-layer of the tooth called dentin will become exposed. The exposed dentin will stain more easily than the enamel and could cause tooth sensitivity. And the lost enamel will never “regrow”.

If you are interested, I published a blog on teeth-whitening ideas a few years ago.



When selecting a toothpaste, you shouldn’t use one with potentially harmful chemicals that may act as “Band-Aids” to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Even if some research suggests that these elements may have benefits, they still should not be used if other science shows that they can cause harm.

Choose a toothpaste with no harmful elements and one that can enhance the healthy balance of the garden of bacteria in your mouth. My choice is Revitin.

There are very specific methods to stop tooth decay and gum disease. And they don’t involve chemicals to disturb natural processes in your body. In fact, these methods not only will prevent tooth decay and gum disease, but also assist in overall health and wellness. In this PDF I published, I describe the 4 Steps to a Healthy Mouth.

Tooth decay and gum disease are results from poor diet choices, an unhealthy gut, and inefficient oral hygiene protocols. You wouldn’t paint a rusted pipe with Rust-Oleum to hide the rust. And you wouldn’t take an aspirin to treat appendicitis. You would figure out the cause of the rusty pipe or the appendicitis and treat both correctly.

That’s the way you must approach the problems of tooth decay and gum disease. Treat the real causes of these diseases and repair the damage these diseases have created in the mouth.

Don’t rely on Band-Aids like Xylitol, Nano-hydroxyapatite, Fluoride, or Activated Charcoal to solve the problem.


[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31361368

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5537870/

[3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31349397/

[4] https://particleandfibretoxicology.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12989-020-00349-z

[5] https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/22/4/1942

[6] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0048969721001443

[7] https://www.ada.org/resources/research/science-and-research-institute/oral-health-topics/fluoride-topical-and-systemic-supplements

[8] https://www.fda.gov/news-events/fda-brief/fda-brief-fda-proposes-updated-standards-fluoride-added-bottled-water-maximize-health-benefits-while

[9] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32112023/

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482294/

[11] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1745-4557.2004.tb00647.x


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Toxicities All Around Us

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

January 13, 2020




The days of accepting the status quo are over. At least, they should be.

If you continue to believe what you read and hear without the science to back it up, you may be causing severe harm to yourself and your family. When you listen to companies-for-profit tell you their products are designed to make you feel better, live longer, and become happier, you better also demand answers to the questions, “How? Can you prove it? What’s in it for you?”

I’m not going to cite the numerous medical papers that support my rant and rave in this post. I don’t want to bog you down with the detailed science that supports the facts you will read here. For sure, these are available and easily researched if you simply went to PubMed.gov (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/) and searched for the topics I reveal below. So, let me sound off for a moment and get this stuff off my chest. The bottom line I want to emphasize is don’t be gullible. Be discerning. Get your facts straight and then make your decisions.



Toothpaste companies tell you their toothpastes whiten teeth, heal gum disease, and remineralize teeth. But these toothpastes have harsh chemicals that will do more harm than good. The companies making their chemically ridden toothpastes should first tell you that if you brushed with filtered water and didn’t eat added sugars or drink acidic sodas, you would rarely have tooth decay or gum disease. And if they hinted that you could brush with common baking soda on your toothbrush, you would be able to whiten your teeth effectively by removing surface stains. Also, by the way, the minerals that naturally help remineralize your teeth are included in the constant flow of your saliva, which is replete in necessary minerals that are biologically available if you eat nutrient-rich foods.


Glyphosate (Roundup®)

Food companies that regularly spray their crops with glyphosate to improve their crop survival and size of their crops aren’t telling you the real truth. While improving the salability of their crops, this chemical (formerly manufactured by Monsanto and now owned by Bayer) is destroying the healthy bacteria in the soils responsible for healthy growth of plants. And the residue of glyphosate remains on the plants and gets into foods prepared from these plants. The result is serious damage to the healthy bacteria in your gut. Once in the gut, glyphosate also causes leakage of toxic substances into your bloodstream affecting all tissues. And did these companies tell you that glyphosate residue passes through the placental barrier and is present in babies at birth? There are class action lawsuits currently being pursued against Monsanto and Bayer because cancer was caused by individuals’ continued use of Roundup.


Skin Products

How about the beauty and cosmetic industry that charges high fees for creams and lotions to apply to your skin and hair? Are these companies warning you that their products contain toxic substances, which will seep through your skin and enter your bloodstream causing a myriad of problems that might not show up for years – especially if you apply their products daily?

The Environment Working Group has identified the 9 most toxic substances present in many beauty and cosmetic products:

  • Formaldehyde, a known carcinogen
  • Chemicals that release formaldehyde
  • Mercury, which can damage the kidney and nervous system
  • Lead, a potent neurotoxin
  • Asbestos, a known carcinogen
  • Isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, butylparaben and propylparaben
  • Toluene, which is toxic to the brain and nervous system
  • Triclosan, which affects the thyroid
  • Per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which have been linked to cancer


Titanium Dental Implants

Titanium and titanium-alloy dental implants have been excellent choices to replace missing teeth. Over 5 million dental implants are being placed annually. These implants have been made to visually look and function like natural teeth. And these have been extremely successful over decades for individuals who have lost important teeth in their mouth. Yet, are the worldwide manufacturing companies producing these implants or the dental professionals placing these implants completely informing you of the facts? Titanium implants will cause a local inflammatory response in the immune system which potentially could lead to chronic systemic inflammation years down the road. And continuous chronic systemic inflammation could lead ultimately to many types of chronic disease. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that 60% of Americans live with at least one chronic disease, and chronic diseases are responsible for 70% of deaths each year in the United States. Also, corrosion occurs on the surface of titanium dental implants. Chemical products released from these surfaces can be swallowed and absorbed by the body to accumulate in other organs. In addition, nanoparticles of titanium can pass through the blood-brain barrier and may be toxic to the central nervous system.


Food and Hair Dyes

Another area of toxicity is the dyes used in food and hair coloring products. Consumers seem thrilled when their food looks pretty and appetizing. Certainly, a youthful look when hair takes on a color other than gray is desired and pursued by millions of people. The industries that place dyes in food and hair products are not warning consumers that most of these chemicals are not tested for toxicity in humans. They aren’t alerting us that there are scientific studies proving that these dyes could cause various medical complications. In a 2019 article in the International Journal of Cancer, the authors acknowledged that many hair products contain carcinogenic compounds related to breast cancer. And the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement in 2018 in which they said, “Artificial food colors may be associated with exacerbation of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms.” So, shouldn’t the consumer at least know the risks of eating food dyes and applying dyes to their hair and scalp?


In Closing

We don’t live in a bubble. Nowadays, toxic substances abound. And as I have suggested, they are in products which many of us have taken for granted for so long. Sadly, it appears that many companies are selling chemical products while keeping us in the dark to what they really know. Marketing companies are not under any legal obligation to inform us about the science that is out there. Our responsibility is to be proactive and take care of ourselves and our family. Do some research before you believe what you read and hear.



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Misleading and Confusing

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS Nutritional Periodontist
June 19, 2017

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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