The purpose of toothpaste is to help clean teeth and maintain your oral health care. However, some toothpastes may be packing a little more than oral health. Turns out that the microbeads used in some toothpastes may contribute to oral diseases and gingivitis.
Plastic Microbeads May Contribute to Oral Diseases
Microbeads in toothpaste may seem like they contribute to oral health, but in fact, they are only used in toothpaste for aesthetic purposes. This means that they serve no real dental purpose.
The microbeads found in toothpaste are made of a product known as polyethylene, which is also used in items like plastic bottles and garbage bags. Brushing with this plastic substance may lead to periodontal disease and gingivitis if these tiny beads get stuck in the space between the tooth and gum. When they get stuck in these areas, it creates a space for harmful bacteria to enter the sensitive space surrounding the tooth, which can cause gingivitis. Over time, this infection of the gums can move to the bone holding the teeth, which becomes periodontal disease.
Further, the plastic is not biodegradable. If it is stuck in the mouth, saliva and chemical products are unable to get rid of the polyethylene. The plastic will break into smaller and smaller pieces and get further stuck in a person’s gums.
While the plastic itself does not cause dental issues, it is what will happen if the beads get embedded into the space between the gum and the tooth that causes inflammation.
In light of this, many toothpaste manufacturers have agreed to stop using microbeads in their products even though they have been approved for human use. Proctor and Gamble, a leading personal product manufacturer, has agreed to remove microbeads from their products by March 2016.
Bedford Dental Group encourages those that use toothpaste with microbeads to make a visit to our dentists in order to obtain a complete oral examination.