The NY Times and Toothpaste

So, after flossing and x-rays, the NY Times has now aimed it’s editorial arrows at Colgate, America’s most popular toothpaste.

After the FDA banned certain hand soaps containing triclosan a week ago, the NY Times questioned why the same ingredient is allowed to be used in toothpaste. After all, they claim, things get absorbed much more readily through the mouth than through your hands!

Yes, Colgate contains Triclosan.

Why is the FDA more concerned about hands than mouths?

It’s because the FDA appreciates the risk of inflammation in your mouth and of the important effect it has on overall health. Triclosan does reduce inflammation plus, the FDA maintains that soaps do just as good a job cleaning hands as those with more powerful antiseptics like triclosan.

The NY Times quotes a Ms. Wu about the inclusion of triclosan “It’s aimed at preventing gingivitis, so if you’re at risk of that you might consider it.” Ms. Wu, it should be noted, is an attorney!

In all the previous dental-related articles, this is the first time that “risk” has been mentioned. And, it wasn’t a doctor who mentioned it. It was a lawyer! How low has the medical and dental establishment sunk? Now, attorneys are thinking more clearly than doctors?!!

Congratulations, Ms. Wu! You hit the nail on he head.

Risk is the issue.

Are you at risk for gum inflammation? If you are, your heart, lungs, joints and brain are at risk too. Important?

We think so.

That’s why Manhattan Dental Health is urging all of our patients to have a bacteria profile taken. The results from this simple saliva test is just one of the several factors, along with hygiene, history, environment and nutrition (what we refer to as Epigenetics and Cofactors) that we use to assess your “risk.” Together with monitoring you regularly for any changes, risk analysis allows us to help you reduce overall inflammation facilitating your optimal health.

Inflammation is at the root cause of many of today’s most common illnesses like Diabetes, Heart Disease, Dementia, Arthritis, Asthma and even some cancers.

The test is simple (rinse and spit) but not cheap ($150). And, of course, insurance hasn’t yet come around to appreciating the wisdom of coverage. Nevertheless, such bacteria profiling is a worthy addition to a personal health profile allowing for a more personalized, customized and individualized assessment and recommendation for care like which toothpaste is right for YOU?

Is triclosan a problem for YOU? Probably not in the doses used but, before using anything that might have “unintended consequences” it pays to know your options and weigh the risks.

I have personally used Colgate Total since dental school. The scientific evidence is clear that it helps fight gingivitis. Then, a year ago, I took a bacteria profile. Guess what? I’m currently not at risk for gum disease. So, I changed my toothpaste. I no longer use Colgate because it doesn’t meet my personal oral health risks which, thanks to age and some gum recession, is now decay. I use a special fluoride toothpaste instead. I bet Fluoride will be the target of NY Times’ next article.

Get a bacteria profile. Know your risks. Get the customized, personalized and individualized recommendations that you deserve. That’s the Manhattan Dental Health way.

To everyone’s good health and wellness,

P.S. I’ve written a special report on the bacteria profile and will be happy to send it to you. Ask and ye shall receive.