HomeHealth articlesoral hygiene maintenanceWhat Are Oral Hygiene Additives and Associated Allergies?

Oral Hygiene Additives and Associated Allergies - A Discussion

Verified dataVerified data

3 min read


The oral cavity needs comprehensive oral cleansing on a daily basis for which a number of oral hygiene products are there. Read this article further to know more.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Kinjal Shah

Published At April 4, 2023
Reviewed AtApril 4, 2023


Regular cleaning of the oral cavity is necessary and there are several oral hygiene solutions available to meet this need. However, in a few individuals who are more allergy prone or sensitized to certain allergens, it can be a cause for manifesting hypersensitivity reactions.

What Are the Oral Hygiene Product Additives?

Food additives are mostly used to preserve the flavor and to enhance the taste or aid in the colorful appearance of oral hygiene products. Interestingly, many of the additives that are used in oral hygiene products would be potential allergens. Individuals who are sensitive to certain allergens may develop clinical symptoms or allergic reactions such as:

  • Urticaria (a rash of round, red welts on the itchy skin).
  • Contact dermatitis (itchy rash by contact with the substance).
  • Lichenoid reactions (allergic reaction caused by systemic administration of the drug).
  • Rhinitis (inflammation of mucus membrane of the nose).

Individuals with severe sensitization to particular allergens may even develop potential anaphylactic reactions or angioedema. Proper dosage levels, delivery vehicles, frequency, and the potential benefits of using oral hygiene products can be only best discussed with the dentist.

The "additive" term would particularly be denoted to a substance not normally consumed as food alone. Rather these additives are simply put as additions to consumable foods and are typical ingredients that are in an added form. Whether or not these additives have a nutritive value would depend on multiple factors such as the purpose of the food additive according to which it is manufactured, processed, prepared, treated, and lastly packed. Even in fact the packaging and transport of such food additives can influence their chemical characteristics.

Some additives can additionally have substances incorporated in them for increasing their nutrient density or quality. Similarly, even in dental materials, there would be an incorporation of additives that are used mainly for preserving the flavor, enhancing the taste, and influencing the color of the oral hygiene product.

What Is the Classification of Food Additives by WHO?

According to The International Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) which had been established by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization, the following categories of food additives are commonly added or indicated according to the purpose of their usage and following special names with the “E” numbering on prepared food packages. the classification of food additives along with their basic functions are listed as follows:

  • Color additives (E100-180).
  • Preservative additives (E200-297).
  • Antioxidant additives (E300-321).
  • Emulsifiers and stabilizer additives (E322-500).
  • Acidity Regulators (E500-578).
  • Sweeteners and odor additives (E620-637).
  • Wide-purpose additives (E900- 927).

What Are the Oral Product Additive Side Effects?

  • Mouthwashes usually that have a moderate or higher alcohol content are associated with hyperkeratotic lesions in both human and animal models according to dental research.
  • Acetaldehyde is one of the primary metabolites similarly derived from ethanol which is a known mutagenic and carcinogenic agent. It may play a role in the process of carcinogenesis potentially in predisposed Individuals with certain risk factors.
  • Contact urticaria, perioral edema, lip swellings or contact allergy are certain reactions associated with cinnamic aldehyde-containing mouthwashes in which lip swelling occurred. These can also be in relation to certain antiseptics like proflavine or acriflavine.
  • Cinnamaldehyde which is commonly added to dentifrices in order to mask the unpleasant taste of pyrophosphate in them has been potentially linked to the development of plasma cell gingivitis.
  • Flavoring agents or their derivatives like mint, spearmint, peppermint, menthol, and carvone are some of the agents associated with allergic contact cheilitis in sensitized individuals.
  • The common polyols as well compounds found in sugar-free chewing gum such assorbitol (hexatol derived from glucose), Xylitol (present in some chewing gums, toothpaste, or mouthwashes) would also have a laxative effect that would produce bloating, intestinal gas or diarrhea.
  • Long-term exposure of the oral mucosal membranes to some dental materials, dental metals, acrylates, additives, or other substances would also cause hypersensitivity reactions in individuals who have a systemic or risky predisposing history.
  • Therefore,it is important to note that most dental products and oral hygiene products are well tolerated by most healthy adults globally. In fact most of the American Dental Association (ADA)-approved oral hygiene products have too low concentrations of either allergens or additives in products that may be too low to produce an allergic reaction.

Why Oral Hygiene Products or Aids Are Important?

  • It is important to note, that the use of personal oral hygiene products like toothpaste, mouthwashes, dentifrices, and oral gels all play an important role as chemical or mechanical plaque control measures in not only preventing but also in treating most of the dental diseases like dental caries and periodontal disease. But these oral hygiene products are best recommended by the dentist rather than chosen by the individual. Because Individuals with certain allergies might suffer from adverse effects, even though it is less common and limited only to a few risk groups globally.
  • The dentist or oral surgeon knows the pros and cons of every oral hygiene product. Hence it is always wise to consult the dentist to determine what is the best way oral hygiene practices one can employ on a daily basis depending on the oral hygiene status and oral disease form.
  • Dentists should also explain the importance of oral hygiene products and their effects, be they positive or negative completely to their patients. There is a growing need or rather a necessity to raise this awareness according to dental research, especially amongst dental professionals on the use of certain food additives in some oral hygiene products.


Hence, it is always advised for individuals with a history of allergies to consult the dentist before using any oral hygiene products. Patients should also inform the dentist regarding any medications they are taking or if they have any other medical condition. In that case, the dentist may advise them on an alternate oral hygiene product to maintain a healthy oral microbiome.

Source Article IclonSourcesSource Article Arrow
Dr. Achanta Krishna Swaroop
Dr. Achanta Krishna Swaroop



oral hygiene maintenance
Community Banner Mobile
By subscribing, I agree to iCliniq's Terms & Privacy Policy.

Source Article ArrowMost popular articles

Do you have a question on

oral hygiene maintenance

Ask a doctor online

*guaranteed answer within 4 hours

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. iCliniq privacy policy