Are You Allergic to Your Toothpaste?

Toothpaste Allergy

Roughly 1 in every 1,000 people have an allergy to a toothpaste ingredient. Learn what toothpaste allergy symptoms to look for and how to manage them. Dr. Sonia Cajigal is a board certified allergist in St. Louis, Missouri that can help you confirm your toothpaste allergy diagnosis and provide personalized treatment.

“This office was amazing! I am so very impressed. I have never had such a thorough doctor. The office staff was great too. Dr. Cajigal made sure to lay everything out on the table of what could be the cause of my symptoms. She was so helpful.”

– Rachel R, February 2022

Toothpaste allergy doctor Sonia Cajigal of St. Louis Family Allergy in St. Louis, Missouri
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Toothpaste Allergy Overview

Toothpaste Allergy Overview

Toothpaste Allergy Symptoms

Toothpaste Allergy Diagnosis
Toothpaste Allergy Treatment
Toothpaste allergy occurs when your immune system reacts to an ingredient in toothpaste. Toothpaste allergy typically presents as a contact allergy that affects the gums, tongue, lips, and mouth. Roughly 0.1% to 0.3% of people have an allergy to a toothpaste ingredient – that’s roughly 1 in every 1000 people.

Synthetic flavoring chemicals are the most common allergens in toothpaste, but you may be allergic to other ingredients in toothpaste, including cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB), fluoride, propylene glycol, essential oils, parabens, and gluten.

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in St. Louis, Missouri

Woman brushing teeth with toothpaste allergy in St. Louis, Missouri

Toothpaste Allergy Symptoms

Toothpaste allergy symptoms are similar to contact dermatitis, meaning that a toothpaste allergy reaction only occurs where there’s direct contact with toothpaste. Typical toothpaste allergy symptoms include:

  • Swollen lips
  • Swollen gums
  • Sores in the mouth
  • Burning or itching sensation around the mouth
  • Tongue irritation
  • Itching and peeling of the lips and skin around the mouth

Inflammation of the lips (cheilitis) is the most common symptom of toothpaste allergy, with symptoms inside the mouth being less common in comparison.

Toothpaste Allergy Diagnosis

Even if you’re certain that you’re allergic to your toothpaste, it’s still important that you get a proper toothpaste allergy diagnosis from an allergist. You may learn that a specific chemical is responsible for your allergy, enabling you to avoid it in your toothpaste and in other products that you use. You may also learn that another product entirely is responsible for your allergic reactions.

Given the many allergens in toothpaste, skin patch testing is the definitive method of determining whether or not you’re allergic to an ingredient in your toothpaste. At St. Louis Family Allergy, we can help you get to the bottom of your toothpaste allergy symptoms and confirm what you’re allergic to.

See an Allergist

in St. Louis, Missouri

Toothpaste Allergy Treatment

There is no cure for toothpaste allergy. Avoiding the ingredient(s) that you’re allergic to is the best way to overcome a toothpaste allergy. Fortunately, many hypoallergenic toothpastes are available for those with fluoride allergy, gluten intolerance, and other allergens. Naturally flavored and alternatively flavored toothpastes (such as fruit flavors) also tend to be free of allergens, but you should still check the ingredients list if you’ve had allergic reactions to toothpaste products.

For immediate symptom relief, your allergist may prescribe a brief dose of a low-potency topical steroid, such as hydrocortisone 1% cream. Systemic corticosteroids (pills or shots) or steroid mouthwashes may need to be prescribed if you have persistent sores in your mouth, swollen gums, or tongue irritation. Be sure to consult your allergist before starting any new medications.


[1] American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology:
[2] Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America:
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Visit Toothpaste Allergy Specialist Dr. Sonia Cajigal of St. Louis Family Allergy in St. Louis, Missouri

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"Dr. Cajigal was friendly, professional, and informative. She took the time to explain the tests and what was going on with my allergies. She is so knowledgeable and really cared about how I was feeling. I would highly recommend this practice if you suffer from allergies and asthma."

- Sue D, July 2020

“Dr Cajigal is a great listener. She trusts her patients instead of treating them as if they are not the experts of their own bodies. I really appreciate that (many doctors do not have that quality). She also immediately treats the symptoms instead of waiting to see if things clear. I use her for my children and myself. We have never left her office feeling as if it was a waste of time.”

– Stephanie, August 2020

"Great Allergist!"

- Ann H, December 2018

"She is the best."

- Stephen W, June 2020

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