Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) is a foaming agent that it present in most toothpastes, soaps and detergents. For most people, it causes no problems when used in the mouth as part of toothpaste. However, when the lining of the mouth is thinned, ulcerated or sensitive it can sting and make the mouth feel uncomfortable. Some conditions that can particularly make the gums sensitive to sodium lauryl sulphate include lichen planus, orofacial granulomatosis, mucous membrane pemphigoid and pemphigus. If you have a dry mouth, you may find that strongly flavoured toothpastes and those with sodium laurel sulphate may make your mouth uncomfortable. Some people with recurrent aphthous stomatitis (the most common form of recurring mouth ulcers) find that using an SLS-free toothpaste reduces the number of mouth ulcers that they get.

The most important ingredient in toothpaste, from an oral health perspective, is fluoride. There are many SLS-free toothpastes that are marketed as “natural”, “organic” or “herbal”. These rarely contain fluoride and are not recommended for long term daily use. Some SLS-free toothpastes that are available in Ireland are listed below but please always check the ingredients listed on the packaging:

Sensodyne Pronamel – available from most pharmacies and supermarkets

Kingfisher with fluoride – available from Holland & Barret onlinekingfisher toothpaste

Curasept ADS 705 – available from some pharmacies or online

Curaprox Enzycal – available from some pharmacies or onlineCURAPROX ENZYCAL

BioXtra toothpaste – available from most pharmacies

Biotène toothpaste – available from most pharmacies

OranurseOraNurse toothpaste – (non flavoured) available from some pharmacies

If are having difficulty sourcing these products, have found alternatives that you would like to share or would like more information, please contact us.