Toothpaste Can Be Bad for Teeth and Gums

December 24, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015
TOOTHBRUSHING: What are you brushing your teeth with? (
TOOTHBRUSHING: What are you brushing your teeth with? (

We could retire most of the dentists and all have perfect teeth and gums, claims Gerald F. Judd, Ph.D., in his book “Good Teeth From Birth to Death.”

Let’s put aside for the moment the problem of unemployment of vast numbers of those in the dental industry and explore the reasons Dr. Judd has for making such outrageous assertions.

Judd is a retired research chemist, professor, and author who has made laboratory studies of fluoride. (See Gerald F. Judd, Ph.D. online.)

One of the biggest assailants of our teeth is acid, which dissolves the enamel. Sodas, fruit drinks, some fruits (especially citrus), tomatoes, vinegar, cider, and chewable vitamin C are the main culprits. Sugar gets off with a mild slap, as lactic acid comes from sugar but takes longer to act. The solution is to sip water when consuming acids and sugar.

Bacteria attack in gum pockets. Enamel, which is made from calcium phosphate, does not provide food for bacteria. From the remains of wild animals, we see that their tooth enamel is intact, not eaten by bacteria.

Probing with sharp instruments to remove plaque creates or enlarges gum pockets and damages the enamel.

Along comes “damage control”— toothpaste. Whether toothpaste can protect our teeth depends on what is in it. If it contains fluoride, it may actually cause gum pockets.

Sodium fluoride is one of the most toxic substances existing. If a child eats more toothpaste than what is on the toothbrush, poison control must be called. A full tube of toothpaste has enough fluoride to kill a child.

Fluoride also destroys enzymes, among them, adenosine diphosphatase, which delivers phosphate to calcium at the tooth surface.

There is no proof that fluoride prevents cavities. Acid will dissolve a shark tooth, which is full of fluoride.

Glycerin, an oily substance in toothpaste, is often made from natural sources such as coconut oil, but it sticks to the teeth and takes 20 rinses or more to remove. People who do not want wine stains on their teeth coat them with glycerin because of this attribute. But a coating of glycerin impedes the enamel repair that would naturally occur.

Sodium laurel sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), which are foaming agents in toothpaste, can alter the structure of mucus membranes. They disrupt the protein in cells, causing the membranes to absorb other toxins. In addition, SLS in the ground water from human use is toxic to fish and other organisms. (

Based on Judd’s recommendations, many people are using bar soap or commercial tooth soap in- stead of toothpaste. Both soaps kill bacteria and remove oils like glycerin, which prevent the formation of new enamel.

Swipe the wet toothbrush a couple of times over a soap bar to coat the bristles. If taste is important, commercial tooth soap tastes better and can be used in liquid form.

Judd recommends pressing the gums gently to the teeth to mend pockets. He also suggests taking supplements, such as vitamin C, which strengthens connective tissue, vitamin D, and calcium. People who try the above suggestions find their teeth and gums begin to heal.

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