Baking Soda Alert!   Inflammation - Irritation -  Rashes - Red Bumps and More! Oh My!

Baking Soda Alert! Inflammation - Irritation - Rashes - Red Bumps and More! Oh My!

We were researching baking soda in terms of dental products and teeth and gum health, but what we found was so much more. We found it so interesting and eye opening that we wanted to share it with you here.

As a lover of all things natural, and seeker of the best products out there, I feel inclined to write this blog about baking soda and my own personal experience with it. We see many products on the shelf containing this “natural” ingredient, and claims of its soothing abilities. However, my experience with baking soda has been quite unlike this. 

Using baking soda topically caused my skin to become red, irritated and extremely sensitive.

I went to the doctor's office to see if it was a rash, and realized it was the baking soda! After experiencing a reaction to using baking soda topically, I was confused, frustrated and wanted to know more about what was going on.

I wanted to look into this, and to see what baking soda really is.

Upon further seeking, I realized that baking soda isn't truly “natural” at all. We will go into this more deeply below, but first I will mention that baking soda is not a straight from nature product. It is a produced substance that is made in a lab through chemical processing.

Upon learning this, it wasn't so surprising that my skin reacted in this way.

Looking online, I was amazed to find many stories of others who have experienced irritation, sensitivity, pain, swelling, itching, rashes, red bumps, and more, all from using baking soda topically.

If baking soda can cause such reactions, why is it used with such normality? And worse yet, if it can cause these problems when used on the skin, imagine the havoc it can wreak on the more sensitive tissues of the mouth.

Many dental products contain baking soda with claims of soothing the gums and whitening the teeth and neutralizing bad breath. But is it worth it? Are there better ways to achieve these results without the irritation? 

Read more to learn about the unwanted effects of using baking soda, especially when used in dental care products, and how it can effect the delicate balance in the mouth.

Baking soda is an ingredient found in nearly all tooth powders on the market. It carries claims of being a “natural” whitening agent and “gentle” abrasive. But are these claims backed by the truth? We are writing to dissect the spurious claims of this so-called natural ingredient, and to explain to you the truth about baking soda.

Many dental formulas contain baking soda.
These products are often described as “safe” and “natural” for those who wish to avoid harsher chemical alternatives. While the ingredients may be less harmful than those in other formulas, baking soda based products are not the perfect substance many hope it to be. While baking soda is present in both tooth powders and toothpastes, we will focus on its use in tooth powders, because we think getting away from pastes is a good idea altogether. Let's touch on that below, then get back into the baking soda.

Getting away from toothpastes, and getting back to powders.

Most tooth pastes on the market contain harmful chemical additives and stabilizers to keep the formula consistent and preserved. One such ingredient is glycerin, which causes an array of problems on its own, including an excess build-up of plaque. Any time a formula is turned into a paste it will come with a long list of unnecessary additives. All these extra ingredients are added for the purpose of preserving the paste itself, and not at all adding to the dental action of the toothpaste. There are typically very few, if any extra ingredients added to a paste that are actually helpful for dental health. Most ingredients simply support the structure and consistency of the product, not the mouth. If we take away the paste-like consistency, then all those “supporting” ingredients are no longer necessary. Hence, the switch back to powders for brushing. But care must still be taken.

Switching to tooth powder is smart, but not all tooth powders are equal.

Making the switch to tooth powders and away from toothpastes is a good move. However, it isn't as simple as just ditching the paste. One must still be scrupulous when examining the ingredients within a tooth powder. While almost any tooth powder is certainly a step up from the SLS, glycerin and preservative containing toothpastes, there are other ingredients present in tooth powders, like baking soda that may cause problems of their own. This is why it is important to read the ingredients carefully and make informed choices when purchasing a tooth powder.

Now let's dive back into the details about baking soda in dental products.

Baking soda doesn't necessarily remove plaque.

While baking soda may remove surface stains on the enamel, it doesn't necessarily remove plaque. This means that the sticky build-up from glycerin products, bacterial overgrowth and improper dental care will continue to build up and cause damage to teeth and gums. An overgrowth of plaque containing the bacteria p.gingivalis can lead to gum disease, gum recession and tooth decay. It is important to use a product that aims to improve the entire health of the teeth and gums by removing plaque and preventing bacterial overgrowth. Baking soda does none of these things, and it may bring irritation and inflammation with it.

Is baking soda really “natural?”

Baking soda is typically made through the processing of two minerals. Though the minerals used to make the baking soda do come from the ground, there is an additional step to processing it into soda ash that is necessary to produce the end product. This cannot be done outside a laboratory and the addition of chemical processing. The makes the main argument for baking soda's use, as being totally natural, a bit less convincing.

How is baking soda made?

Baking soda is created through a refinement process involving the two minerals nahcolite and trona.
These minerals are mined from the earth, but as mentioned above, other chemical processes are necessary to create the end product sodium bicarbonate which we call “baking soda.” This process involves dissolving soda ash, which can come from these minerals or through another procedure which turns salt into soda ash, by processing it with carbon dioxide and ammonia. Now, no matter which way the soda ash is obtained, it is then dissolved into a solution and processed with carbon dioxide which will cause the solution to bubble up and produce the sodium bicarbonate. It is not as simple as digging it out and boxing it up. This makes the claims of baking soda being a purely natural ingredient simply untrue.

Baking soda has an unpleasant taste.
Have you ever bitten into a baked good that wasn't blended properly, and experienced the sharp, harsh taste of baking soda by mistake? The chalky, unpalatable taste makes the tongue feel strange, and it is not a pleasant experience. Using baking soda in dental products provides this similar sensation, and makes the whole experience of caring for ones mouth less enjoyable.

Baking soda is not really so gentle, either.
Claims about baking soda suggest that it is calming and gentle when applied to the skin, or used in the mouth. However, anecdotal evidence uncovers the truth about what happens when using baking soda topically. Let's dive into some of these experiences, now.

Baking soda can cause sensitivity.
Using baking soda on the skin can disrupt what is known as the “acid mantle,” a gentle barrier protecting our skin. Many people are able to use baking soda with no side effects, but there are others who can't use this substance topically at all because of the sensitivity and irritation it causes. Some uncomfortable reactions to using baking soda include: red bumps, rashes, extreme sensitivity, irritation, itchiness and more. This makes baking soda one of those ingredients that we are better off avoiding, especially when it comes to the sensitive areas inside our mouths. Yikes. Baking soda can also be abrasive in a sharp, not soothing way.

Anecdotal evidence suggests baking soda is a harsh irritant to some.

Because of its high pH, baking soda is effective at helping reduce the growth of bacteria on some surfaces. This has lead to its use as an odor neutralizer, and more recently as a deodorant. The increased popularity of baking soda as a natural deodorant has displayed some of its potential side effects when used on the skin.

What natural deodorants containing baking soda tell us about its use in dental care.
The many health conscious individuals applying baking soda to their underarms, as a means to prevent body odor, went from excited to angry with its effects. While using baking soda does seem to be an effective method for reducing odor, the side effects are very real. Soon after this trend became commonplace there were stories upon stories of complaints. People reported that irritation, swelling and sensitivity developed as a result of daily use of baking soda as a deodorant. Some complain of these effects lasting long after discontinuing its use. Others experienced discoloration of the underarms and prolonged sensitivity and tenderness, even after discontinuing use.The mouth is a highly sensitive area, baking soda may be too harsh.

These reported experiences are important when consider using baking soda for dental care.
The soft tissue in our mouth is highly sensitive, and more prone to disruption and inflammation than other areas where this product has been used and caused irritation.

Plainly put, baking soda is an inappropriate ingredient for use in dental care.
Add this to the list of commonplace ingredients that grace our natural grocery store aisles and online shops inappropriately. Sigh...

But I do know one thing, and its that I can enjoy healthy, natural products for teeth and gums without the unpleasant taste or side effects of baking soda. And I'm happy to have this choice.

It isn't easy to find products that are gentle, natural, and also effective.
For many of us, shopping for natural products looks something like this: We carefully examine the list of ingredients on the back of several products, sighing with dissatisfaction, and then end up settling for a product that really doesn't meet our standards. Health promoting dental products are hard to come by. Here at Anti-Aging Company, we understand this challenge, work hard to offer products that are made with real plants, herbs and spices, not “plant-derived” or lab processed substances and stabilizers. Sure, there are other products that contain healthful ingredients, but alongside the real plants and spices, most of them also contain something “extra” that just isn't appropriate for dental products. It is important to be aware of these substances and how they effect the body before making a decision. One such ingredient is baking soda.

Choose wisely!
You have the power to choose wisely and use products that you truly believe in. Shop to explore our variety of healthy, effective dental care products. Not a single one will contain an ingredient that doesn't fit our standards. Be wise! Treat your teeth and gums with love.

Jun 26th 2019 Anti-Aging Company Team

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