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Does Sensodyne Have Sodium Lauryl Sulfate?

Updated: Jan 19

Most sensodyne toothpastes do not have sodium lauryl sulfate as one of the ingredients but there are a few exceptions which do have SLS. As an example, the sensodyne repair and protect toothpaste does contain SLS.


Sensodyne repair and protect with SLS
With SLS

Therefore, if you're looking for a sensondyne product that does NOT have it, you must read the label carefully to make sure that it doesn't.


Nonetheless, we've compiled a list of all of the sensodyne toothpastes that do have it and ones that don't have it. We hope that'll make it easier for you to choose the one that you're looking for.


Table of contents:


Sensodyne toothpastes without SLS

The vast majority of the sensodyne toothpastes as well as their pronamel line of products do not contain SLS for the most part. Below is a complete list of all of their dentifrices that do not have it as part of their ingredients.


Sensodyne without SLS:

  • Sensitivity and Gum toothpaste

  • Extra whitening toothpaste

  • Fresh mint toothpaste

  • Full protection toothpaste

  • Natural white charcoal toothpaste

  • Pronamel intensive enamel repair

  • Pronamel mineral boost

  • Pronamel gentle whitening

  • Pronamel multi-action

  • Pronamel fresh breath

  • Pronamel daily protection


Note: We did not include the different flavors for each of the product lines. All of the various flavors have the same ingredients except for the flavoring component.


Sensodyne pronamel intensive enamel repair SLS-free
Without SLS

Overall, the entire Sensodyne Pronamel line of toothpastes do NOT have sodium lauryl sulfate in them. However, the non-pronamel dentifrices may have it. That is the difference between sensodyne vs pronamel.


 

Sensodyne toothpastes with SLS

There are a total of four sensodyne toothpastes with sodium lauryl sulfate in them. You should keep a close eye out for these if you're looking for one without it.


Sensodyne with SLS:

  • Repair and protect toothpaste

  • Rapid relief toothpaste

  • Deep clean toothpaste

  • Complete protection toothpaste


Note: We did not include the different flavors for each of these product lines. All of the various different flavors have the same ingredients aside from the flavoring component.


In summary, only the sensodyne toothpastes may have SLS while the sensodyne pronamel toothpastes do not have it at all.


Alternative SLS-free toothpastes

The major toothpaste brands such as Sensodyne, Crest, and Colgate may or may not have sodium lauryl sulfate in them. However, the natural toothpaste brands tend to make their dentifrices SLS-free and they will market it as so.


Toothpastes without SLS:

  • Davids nano-hydroxyapatite toothpaste

  • Risewell mineral toothpaste

  • Boka ela mint

  • Hello anti-plaque and whitening

  • Burts bees purely white

  • Tom's fluoride free botanically bright natural toothpaste


We've listed a couple of examples above but please be aware that not all brands are completely SLS-free. Some of their product lines may contain it while others do not.


Therefore, you must read the label carefully to make sure it isn't part of the ingredients list. Feel free to explore other brands of dentifrices since the list we've provided is not all inclusive, it is merely meant to serve as an example.


Is SLS toothpaste bad?

SLS in toothpaste may or may not be bad for you depending on how you perceive it and your personal preference. There has been a lot of misinformation about its safety over the year but they are all untrue.


Alleged adverse effects that are false:

  • Cancer causing agent.

  • Ocular irritation.

  • Dermal irritation.

  • Oral toxicity.

  • Organ toxicity.

  • Hair loss.

  • Sensitization.


Sodium lauryl sulfate is relatively safe to use and that is why the FDA has even approved it to be used as a food additive. However, it is a very potent soap/detergent and may be more harsh than you would like to use in your mouth. What it can do is strip away natural oils in your mouth and may dry it out.


The purpose of SLS in toothpaste is to facilitate the removal of plaque and stuck food on teeth. It is able to do this because it is a surfactant, otherwise known as a detergent or soap.

Sometimes it could make your mouth a little too clean if you know what we mean.


Nonetheless, any whitening toothpaste that is worth its salt will most likely have SLS in it because it is incredibly effective at removing plaque and stains on teeth. Some people may prefer a more natural toothpaste and that is OK.


Effect on canker sores

According to research, it is unclear if using SLS toothpaste will increase the frequency and intensity for those suffering from canker sores. Some studies say that it does while others say there is insufficient evidence to make such a claim.


Dr Kurthy from KoR Whitening does agree that SLS toothpaste can make canker sores worse since it is a powerful soap. If you logically think about it, a detergent that will strip away lipids from an ulcerated sore in the mouth does sound like it'll be painful. After all, keeping these areas well moisturized usually helps it heal faster.


Therefore, we would have to agree that it most likely delays the healing time for aphthous ulcers, meaning it would take longer to go away. If you are a chronic suffer from canker sores we would recommend trying a toothpaste without it to see if it helps.


Takeaway

The vast majority of Sensodyne toothpastes do not contain sodium lauryl sulfate, especially the Sensodyne Pronamel product line. That is actually one way that sensodyne is different from pronamel toothpaste but they all contain fluoride.


However, the regular sensodyne product line does have 4 types of toothpastes that do have SLS in them.


Sensodyne toothpaste

SLS?

Sensitivity and Gum

No

Extra whitening

No

Fresh mint

No

Full protection

No

Natural white charcoal

No

Repair and protect

Yes

Rapid relief

Yes

Deep clean

Yes

Complete protection

Yes

Pronamel intensive enamel repair

No

Pronamel mineral boost

No

Pronamel gentle whitening

No

Pronamel multi-action

No

Pronamel fresh breath

No

Pronamel daily protection

No

At the end of the day, SLS is safe to use to use not only for preventative oral care products but also in other cosmetic products (shampoos, conditioners, soaps, etc). However, if you feel like it's detergent power is too strong for your skin or mouth, you can opt for a SLS-free toothpaste.

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About the author: Dr David Chen, DDS

Hello, I'm Dr Chen and I'm an actively practicing dentist in Long Island City, NY. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2016 but prior to going to dental school I was already working in the dental field. It's been more than a decade since I first got to know dentistry and let me tell you, time flies by quickly. Since then I've developed a fondness for writing, which is how this all got started!

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Medical Disclaimer:

This blog is purely meant for information purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Each situation in your mouth is unique and complex. It is not possible to give advice nor diagnose any oral conditions based on text nor virtual consultations. The best thing to do is to go in person to see your dentist for an examination and consultation so that you can receive the best care possible.

The purpose of all of this oral health information is to encourage you to see your dentist and to inform you of what you may expect during your visit. Due to the unfortunate nature of dentistry, there isn't really any true home remedies that will get rid of dental problems. Roughly 99.99% of them require in-person intervention by a healthcare professional.

Hint: That is the reason why you can't eliminate seeing dentists in your life!

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