This blog is about glycerin and its inappropriate use in dental products. We hope that by the end of this blog you will seriously consider how you choose your dental care products, and that you will use this knowledge to make the best choices for your health and the health of your family.
Check the ingredients before buying toothpastes!
Dr. Gerard F. Judd, a chemistry and fluoride researcher
from Purdue University says, "Check the ingredients before buying
[toothpastes at health food stores]. Don't get anything with glycerine in
"Glycerine in all tooth pastes is so sticky that it takes 27 washes to get it off. Teeth brushed with any toothpaste are coated with a film and cannot properly re-enamalize."
Let's see why Dr. Gerard F. Judd says, "Don't get anything with glycerin in it." All the bullet points below clearly support Dr. Judd's statement.
is what has been reported about glycerin when used in dental products:
• Glycerin, classified as a “sugar alcohol” can increase the likelihood of developing cavities by enhancing bacterial biofilms.
• Glycerin coats the teeth in such a way that it is nearly impossible to get it off.
• This solvent contributes to the dental biofilm which leads to plaque build-up.
• Bacterial overgrowth accompanies the increase in plaque build-up.
• Glycerin can reduce salivary flow which is known to significantly aid teeth and gums with a “washing” effect and as a pH balancing effect.
• Glycerin clinging to the teeth restricts nutrients reaching the gums.
• Glycerin prevents minerals from helping the re-mineralization of enamel.
Glycerin: One of the Main Ingredients in Top Selling “Natural” Dental Products
We were amazed at the large amount of glycerin (glycerine, glycerol) in the leading so-called “natural” dental care products. Check out the lists below and you will also be surprised!
Below we will share ingredient lists from several of the top selling “Natural” dental care products, to display their contents. Out of respect we won't list the names of these products.
"Popular Mouthwash #1" Ingredients:
Water, Glycerin, Sorbitol, Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Propanediol, Xylitol, Natural Flavor, Benzoic Acid, Zinc Chloride, Menthol.
"Popular Mouthwash #2" Ingredients:
Water, Vegetable Glycerin, Echinacea, Goldenseal, Calendula, Citric Acid, Polysorbate 80, Natural Flavors (contains cinnamon oil), Grapefruit Seed Extract, Potassium Citrate, Copper Chlorophyllin Color. Active Ingredient: Aloe Vera (20%)
"Popular Mouthwash # 3"
Water (Aqua), Glycerin (Vegetable Derived), Polysorbate 80, Eco-Harvest® Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Mentha Viridis (Spearmint) Leaf Oil, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Calcium Ascorbate, Citric Acid
Popular Toothpaste #1
Calcium Carbonate, Glycerin, Water, Xylitol, Hydrated Silica, Natural Flavor*, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Zinc Citrate, Carrageenan, Sodium Bicarbonate.*Peppermint Oil.
"Popular Toothpaste #2"
Vegetable glycerin, hydrated silica, sorbitol, water, xylitol, Aloe barbadensis leaf juice, cocamidopropyl betaine, sodium cocoyl glycinate, cellulose gum, titanium dioxide, Echinacea angustifolia extract, natural flavors, Hydrastis canadensis (goldenseal) extract, Calendula officinalis extract, xanthan gum, citric acid, zinc citrate, Citrus grandis (grapefruit) seed extract. Active Ingredient: Sodium fluoride (0.24%) (0.15% w/v fluoride ion)
"Popular Toothpaste #3"
Calcium Carbonate, Glycerin(Vegetable Derived), Purified Water (Aqua), Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Water, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Carrageenan (Plant Derived), Gaultheria Procumbens (Wintergreen) Leaf Oil, Sodium Bicarbonate, Eco-Harvest® Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Melia Azadirachta Extract (Neem), Sea Salt.
You are probably wondering, "Why do these “Natural” companies use glycerin as one of their main ingredients when it clearly is not good for the teeth, gums, mouth, or body?"
Here is the “Big
You are going to find this very interesting. Keep reading, because it gets more and more thought-provoking.
Glycerin is NOT used in
dental products to promote good dental health. We have
found that dental care manufacturers have these three major
priorities, none of which focus on the healthiness, purity or effectiveness of the product:
Obtaining proper consistency is very important to companies, as customers demand a consistent and homogeneous feel and appearance. This requires that companies use a substance like glycerin because it has a thick, sticky, gooey consistency. This kind of consistency enhances the viscosity or thickness for mouthwashes and toothpastes, however it does no favors to the health of the teeth or gums.
Glycerin is also a
moisture-control reagent which allows it to improve the texture of
the paste or mouthwash and helps to keep it from drying out. Glycerin
is also an emulsifier, used to allow ingredients to stay in solution.
And, get this-- Glycerin acts as an anti-freeze to help keep the
products from freezing.
It is reported: Glycerin does not crystallize or ferment and shows greater heat resistance compared to other sugars. It is used as a humectant because it retains water and prevents toothpaste from drying out. These properties increase a product's shelf-life and promotes stable consistency of taste, texture and appearance.
A factory-sealed, unopened
bottle of glycerin can last up to five years. Having a long
shelf-life is very important to large companies so they can ship and
forget about expiration dates. This is another reason why companies
use glycerin as a main ingredient.
3. Maximum Profit
How cheap is glycerin? It is really cheap!
If you look again at the ingredients of the top selling “Natural” mouthwashes, as listed above, you will find that the first ingredients are water and then glycerin.
So, we have to ask, what is the percentage of water and glycerin in the mouthwashes? You can bet it is very high—if not close to 90 percent or more!
The same is true with the toothpastes.
BIG – BIG – BIG Profits! And very-very little effectiveness.
How is Glycerin Produced?
Glycerin is a Sugar
Glycerin is a product that is classified as a “sugar alcohol” which is produced by processing any type of oil with heat and a strong alkali such as lye (yikes!).
The separation of oils which creates this sticky substance is often a bi-product of the soap making process. The most common oils used to make glycerin are GMO soy, GMO canola, GMO corn, GMO palm or coconut.
Some glycerin is even made from non-edible types of oil, such as petroleum, or even animal fat. (Double YIKES!)
Problems – Problems -
There are scary problems with these GMO and/or synthetic base ingredients. And, even if the glycerin is made from a less frightening raw material, such as coconut oil, there are still problems.
Here is why:
If the oil that is used to make glycerin starts out as an innocent natural ingredient, when that oil is treated, it is manipulated in such a way that creates the ‘processed” end result. This factory manufactured “end result” is no longer an innocent “natural” ingredient.
What does it become?
When glycerin is created, the oily substance used as a base is processed to become a thick, sticky, gooey substance. This heavy substance which is mildly sweet is sticky to the touch and clings to every surface it comes into contact with.
Similarity to Corn Syrup
Glycerin is similar to corn syrup in its consistency and appearance. This sticky, sweet consistency is one reason why glycerin is used to in dental formulas.
Unfortunately, the modern consumer has accepted the marketing angle of sweet, foamy toothpastes and sweet, thickened watery mouthwashes. But, now is the time to get wise to the reality and switch to dental care products that do not use glycerin and other so-called “natural” chemicals.
Summarizing: Why is
Glycerin Used at All?:
The reason glycerin is so popular in dental products is for its thick and sticky consistency, and its ability to bind with other ingredients and hold them together. As we mentioned, it is not at all added to formulas for health promoting purposes. This is because glycerin is not an ingredient that contributes in a constructive way to the healing or nourishing aspect of any formula. It is only there for the “user friendly” ability to turn a formula into an easy to use product. As time goes on, we will find that there will be more and more evidence suggesting glycerin’s problematic nature.
Toothpaste Versus Tooth
What Glycerin's Got to do With it.
We have become so accustomed to using toothpaste. Pastes are the readily accepted and available method for dental hygiene in our modern lives. However, it wasn't always this way. The original methods for tooth brushing involved powders much like our own.
Tooth Powders Turning
The transformation into a “paste consistency” did not improve the effectiveness of these brushing formulas. It only evolved this way for means of experimentation and marketing. Toothpastes became a fashionable option with no research to substantiate any effectiveness over the original powder formulations.
What happened when tooth powders turned to tooth pastes was the advent of a new need for preservatives and stabilizers. These chemicals were added to be sure the toothpaste did not go rancid or lose its consistency. Glycerin is one of these substances, used to hold it all together, and alongside this sticky ingredient is the many chemicals and preservatives needed to keep it all marketable. Side story: sodium benzoate was added as a preservative for some time until the government dictated it was potentially harmful.
Glycerin Seems to be in
We're not kidding. Next time you go to your natural grocery or supermarket, not only is it in dental care products, it is in everything! And if it’s not listed directly as glycerin, you may find it instead listed as “glycerol”.
“Natural” is Not
Sadly, when it comes to the labeling of products, there is no legal term to describe what “natural” actually means. This means anyone who likes the feel or sound of the phrase is free to use it with abandon on their labels for food, skincare, dental products and more. One ingredient that falls under this category of spuriously “natural” is of course glycerin.
To us here at Anti-Aging Company, natural describes an ingredient that comes straight from nature, not one that has been manipulated, processed and transformed into a product from a natural or unnatural substance.
Below we will examine
in detail the ill-effects that glycerin has on teeth and gums.
Here is more about how glycerin is like ‘plastic-wrap’ on the teeth.
It has been reported that glycerin can be compared to plastic-wrap (for wrapping up food) with its ability to cling and fully cover the teeth. This clingy behavior prevents saliva from doing some of its many jobs that are normally performed with the natural contact it has with teeth and gums.
This includes contact with teeth and gums through normal salivary flow which provides a “washing” action by naturally rinsing and keeping our mouths moist. Saliva also delivers minerals and other nutrients it carries to our teeth and gums upon contact. With glycerin providing an impenetrable coating like described above, the saliva isn't able to make this contact, and things like re-mineralization of enamel may not be able to take place. This means the teeth and gums can't “breathe.”
The healthy nutrients
present in saliva are unable to access the tissue it is meant to
improve. According to one study, glycerin can also form a layer which
enhances bacterial-created acid biofilm to coat the enamel and
dentin. This is the main mechanism for the formation of cavities and
Glycerin can contribute to plaque build-up which harms teeth and gums.
We all know that plaque build-up can lead to problems with our dental health. It doesn't look or feel good either. It is believed that the formation of plaque is associated with the overgrowth of certain bacteria which can lead to gum disease and gum recession, p.gingivalis being one of them. We think that glycerin in dental formulas is an inappropriate addition because of its ability to encourage the build-up of biofilm and hence plaque.
When using glycerin-based toothpastes, the teeth never really feel “clean”.
We all enjoy that just home from the dentist clean and smooth feeling on our teeth. Using tooth powders that contain gentle abrasive ingredients such as clay and miswak, plus bacteria-inhibiting ingredients such as xylitol and essential oils is the way to achieve this daily and safely.
Here is what we hear
from our customers about how clean their teeth feel when they use our
Becky from Chicago:
“I love how my teeth feel after brushing with your Happy Teeth & Gum Powder. I run my tongue over my teeth and gums and they feel just like I had my teeth cleaned at the dentist.”
Kevin from San Diego:
“Your SuperComfort Rescue tooth powder is so rewarding to use, that I actually look forward to brushing my teeth. When I am finished brushing, my teeth feel so clean and smooth and shiny. There is absolutely no plaque residue at the gumline like there used to be when I was using toothpastes.”
Other uses of glycerin.
Glycerin is also used in moisturizers and skincare because of its ability to give the illusion of a moisturizing ability to our skin. However, what is actually happening is that glycerin is drawing out moisture from the deeper levels of the skin, only giving the illusion of truly moisturized skin. Substances that do this are called “humectants,” which are essentially drying from the inside out. When used in food, some people find that glycerin disturbs their digestion.It's not always easy to determine which products are best to use.
It can be hard to make informed choices when it comes to natural products.
This is because any product can be labeled as “natural” even when it is not. It is also true that those almost-good-enough “natural” products often contain one or more ingredients that throw off the whole balance. Of course glycerin comes to mind first, and following this is often baking soda, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium benzoate or hydrogen peroxide, which each deserve a blog of their own to describe their issues. To bring it back to the formula, most tooth pastes are simply “soaps” that don't contain any nutritive or nourishing qualities. Their main purpose is to “clean” and destroy, wiping out the delicate balance of the mouth’s ecology. Furthermore, any benefit that may have come from the healthy ingredients in a more healthful toothpaste is often lost to one that is irritating or otherwise contraindicative.
So, what can we use
The truth is that glycerin is simply not necessary for use in dental care formulas. Its only purpose is to make the product more “user friendly” by providing a paste-like consistency. If we choose to give up the convenience of a product in a tube by using a healthier alternative such as a tooth powder, we can avoid the ingredient altogether. It's also true that using a tooth powder is just as simple, easy and tasty as using a paste, so why not make the switch?
read ingredient lists!
When shopping for products be sure to carefully read the ingredients on the label. Do your best to avoid ingredients like glycerin and those which you don't know or can't pronounce. Don't believe a product's claim of “natural”, “healthy” or “gentle” without examining the contents and researching them for yourself. Choose dental products that focus on pure and health promoting ingredients, without the additives.
believe in purity and effectiveness.
Here at Anti-Aging Company, we believe in products that are made with ingredients that are truly natural, totally pure, and actually nourishing to both teeth and gums. We assume that you, like us, care about what is in your products. This is why we do everything we can to provide this for you. Part of making sure that we use only the best comes with education about why other ingredients should be avoided.
Thankfully, you have come to the right place, because we offer just that. Check out our wide variety of dental products like NATURAL, ORGANIC, NONGMO tooth powders, gum massage oil, mouthwash and detox for oil pulling. Click here to explore our wide variety of truly natural, healthy products for teeth and gums, free of all additives, stabilizers and glycerin.
1. The effect of 10% Carbamide Peroxide, Carbopol and/or Glycerin on enamel and Dentin Microhardness.By Basting RT, Rodrigues AL Jr, Serra MC. Oper Dent. 2005 Sep-Oct;30(5):608-16. Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16268396