Why Does Toothpaste Burn My Mouth? (4 Common Reasons + Tips)

If you are oral health conscious and concerned about the burning sensation caused by toothpaste, you’re not alone! 

Could the burning sensation from brushing my teeth be related to an oral hygiene issue? Or, are you simply choosing the wrong toothpaste? 

This blog post is for you! In this article, we’ll be taking a science-forward approach to typical reasons that toothpaste could burn your mouth such as toothpaste ingredients, allergic reactions, and acidic consumables. 

If the burning bothers you and you want to resolve this dental issue, there are many causes that could be relevant to you. You will learn: 

An overview of the reasons that you feel a burning sensation 

  • Tooth sensitivity as a factor
  • Allergic Reactions as a factor
  • Toothpaste ingredients as a factor
  • Acidic foods and drinks as a factor
  • A deep dive into toothpaste ingredients
  • How to alleviate discomfort
  • Whether you should switch toothpaste.

Let’s get into it!

The Reason Why You Feel A Burning Sensation While Brushing Your Teeth 

Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity could lead to or worsen the burning sensation from brushing our teeth!

Many of us have sensitive teeth due to years of wearing them down; after all, we use our teeth every day. 

The enamel can perforate, roots can become exposed, and cavities and cracks can form. We may not always notice these issues, but over time we may definitely notice that brushing our teeth is less and less pleasant!

Using a different brand of toothpaste can often reduce the discomfort of having sensitive teeth, which shows that some of the burning is due to the choice of toothpaste rather than only dental sensitivity. 

Often, the burn caused by toothpaste is felt in the whole mouth, and this could be due to allergies or toothpaste ingredients. Some toothpaste contains more abrasive ingredients, which can lead to severe oral cavity discomfort. 

Allergic reaction

Allergic reactions upon contact with toothpaste are not uncommon!

The telltale signs that you have had an allergic reaction are generalized pain around the gums, tongue, and mouth. Additionally, the gums can swell and peel. 

It is unpleasant to have this reaction, to say the least! If you experience this kind of general and severe irritation, then you could have an allergy. Stomatitis refers to the inflammation of the oral mucosa. 

Luckily, toothpaste allergies don’t leave those who suffer with zero dental care options. 

Mild and moderate allergies are normally exacerbated by ingredients in toothpaste such as fluoride salts, preservatives, and detergents. 

Switching brands to see if burning is alleviated can help; many options for toothpaste leave out harsh chemicals. 

For example, toothpaste by Boka fortifies the surface of the teeth while also being sulfate and paraben-free. 

Toothpaste ingredients

Toothpaste ingredients can contribute to the burning sensation. Toothpaste containing sodium lauryl sulfate, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and flavorings or additives commonly contribute to the burning sensation that we experience. 

These ingredients normally have a role to play in the product’s job of maintaining dental hygiene; however, changing toothpaste can still help you find one that lowers the burning sensation for you. 

Next time you encounter oral irritation and painful lesions of unknown origin, ask about toothpaste use and its ingredients. Simply refraining from toothpaste use may solve the problem. 

Acidic foods or drinks

Those conscious about dental hygiene may already know to be cautious of highly acidic foods and drinks such as sodas, coffee, and citrus fruits.

Acid is a problem for our teeth as it weakens the enamel of our teeth, leaving them vulnerable to damage. Every time we eat or drink anything acidic, the enamel on our teeth becomes softer for a short while, and it loses some of its mineral content.

The acids in everyday foods and drinks slowly erode the teeth. Slight diet changes paired with more consciousness about the ingredients of your toothpaste can alleviate tooth discomfort. 

More About Toothpaste Ingredients That Can Cause Burning

It seems like toothpaste is one of the main factors in burning discomfort! Let’s take a deeper look at the reasons why some toothpaste ingredients cause burning or spiciness when we brush our teeth:

Fluoride

Fluoride is known widely to be safe and effective in dental care. However, there are some adverse effects caused by overuse. 

These include the demineralization of the teeth – a side effect of dental fluorosis. 

If you’d like to read more of this perspective on Fluoride, check out another of our articles: Why Avoid Fluoride in Toothpaste? 

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)

Sodium lauryl sulfate is an ingredient in toothpaste that, while safe for consumption, harshly affects some people's teeth and mouths. 

If you suffer from Stomatitis, SLS can increase the inflammation and frequency of ulcers. 

The mouth has a protective mucus; however, SLS can denature this mucosa and expose the delicate epithelia of the mouth. 

The Journal of dentistry recently published a clinical study here showing fewer oral lesions after brushing with SLS-free toothpaste. This is still an open area for research, but current results point to SLS as an irritant. 

Alcohol

Alcohol in toothpastes and mouthwashes leads to the shedding of cells in the mouth (tissue sloughing). 

Alcohol is often added to dental products as an antibacterial agent, but it is better to skip the products with alcohol. It has a dehydrating/ drying effect – and if you are brushing twice daily, this can burn and degrade the delicate mouth tissues!

Frequent, gentle toothbrushing with a soft brush and salt-water rinses may help keep sores from becoming infected. Pain can be helped by avoiding acidic or highly salty foods and any other substances that are irritating.

Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen Peroxide, like alcohol, is an antibacterial additive with side effects.

Hydrogen peroxide is effective at safe concentrations if you are willing to risk burns that mimic the overconsumption of acidic juices. This was a comparison made in a research article by Pubmed General Dentistry worth taking a look at. 

To find a more thoughtful alternative, visit a modern tooth care provider like Boka! By taking into account recent chemical concerns, Boka designs toothpastes that reduce burning and helps to remineralize teeth. 

Flavorings and additives

Flavorings and additives are a varied category of generally unnecessary chemicals in common toothpaste. 

From sugar to dye, these additives accumulate on the teeth and can worsen the inflammation felt in our mouths after brushing!

Remember: you brush your teeth 730 times a year. The makeup of the substance you use to brush should be high-quality, or else you risk damaging both your mouth and teeth. 

How To Alleviate The Discomfort

Let’s get to solutions for your pearly whites! Here are some practical steps to getting rid of the burning sensation and associated dental health concerns:

Rinse mouth with water after brushing

If your toothpaste contains additives, alcohol, SLS, or fluoride, then try to use only dentist-recommended quantities and rinse your mouth after brushing. 

Often, rinsing with water is not recommended by dental professionals! Leaving the antibacterial foam can lengthen its effects. If the burning bothers you, however, rinsing is always an option. 

Protective coatings containing sucralfate and aluminum-magnesium antacids can be soothing when applied as a rinse. Many doctors add other ingredients such as lidocaine and/or diphenhydramine (an antihistamine). Mouth rinses that contain alcohol (ethanol) should be avoided, because they may actually make the mouth sores worse.

Avoid hot or cold foods/drinks after brushing

Whether you think your mouth is particularly sensitive or not, try avoiding hot or cold foods after brushing your teeth. 

Avoid acidic foods and liquids, such as tomatoes, orange juice, carbonated beverages and coffee. Don't use tobacco products. Don't eat irritating foods, such as spicy-hot foods.

Fluoride and other ingredients in toothpaste have the temporary effect of making your teeth very sensitive to extremes in temperature, which can lead to damage and discomfort over time. 

If a person has unexplained mouth pain that does not get better on its own, severe mouth pain, or signs of infection, they need to consult a dentist.

Increase the fluid intake 

​​Increase the amount of fluids you drink, particularly if you find that you have a dry mouth.

Gentle brush and floss

Brush and floss your teeth gently, and continue to practice good oral hygiene.

Switch To A Non-Toxic Toothpaste, Give Boka A Try!

By switching to one of Boka’s n-Ha toothpastes, you may solve your burning problem once and for all. 

As a company that doesn’t compromise on sound science but also supports general wellness, Boka intends to provide high-performing formulas that are also non-toxic. 

Nano-hydroxyapatite is the ingredient that powers Boka toothpastes to support enamel health and strength by bio-mimicking the natural composition of tooth enamel.

Holes in enamel lead to tooth sensitivity, and Boka can help to close these holes. As well as using fortifying ingredients like n-Ha to promote tooth health, Boka puts thought into what can be left out. 

Boka is: 

  • Non-toxic
  • Fluoride-free
  • Dentist-approved
  • Paraben-free
  • SLS-free
  • Free of endocrine disruptors
  • Free of artificial flavoring.

Some of the pros of Boka toothpaste in addition to alleviating discomfort when brushing are that it helps to fortify the surface of teeth, remove bacteria that cause bad breath, remove plaque, and help to avoid tartar buildup. It is also vegan, and cruelty-free. 

So, why should we break up with our old toothpaste? I’d say it's because we can’t handle the rinse and repeat! 

If you are concerned about discomfort and if it relates to your dental health, trying Boka may alleviate the stress. 

FAQs 

Why does my tongue burn when I brush my teeth? 

Tingling and burning on the tongue can be caused by strong mint toothpaste, or toothpastes that contain irritants. 

This is because of the denaturing effect of ingredients such as hydrogen peroxide on the mucosa of the mouth, exposing the epithelia and associated nerves. 

Why does toothpaste burn my gums? 

Your gums may be sensitive to flavorings or alcohol in the ingredients of your toothpaste. 

Additionally, your bruising technique may cause abrasion on your gums, making them irritated. Try a non-toxic toothpaste and a soft bristle brush to alleviate gum discomfort. 

Is there a toothpaste that doesn't burn your mouth? 

Yes! If you are careful with which toothpaste you choose, you should be able to find one that alleviates your discomfort. The n-Ha toothpaste by Boka is designed to reduce discomfort for people with sensitive mouths and teeth. 

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