Toothpaste can cause plastic particles to get lodged in gums

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Some toothpaste products promise to whiten but one Kansas City woman found her toothpaste left specks of blue.

Tiffany Dumm didn’t realize it until she went to her routine cleaning and her hygienist found the particles in her gums.

The micro beads in her toothpaste, Crest 3D White, were polyethylene. It’s a common plastic used in grocery bags or bottled water.

Dumm explained, “When she was doing the cleanings she just used one of her tools and scraped the lining of the gum and she was able to remove it but she says there are times it can get more embedded”

Trisha Waravan, a dental hygienist picks the plastic out of people’s mouths frequently.

“Twenty of us had been remarking that we'd been seeing these blue bits in people's mouths, particularly under their gum line,” said Waravan.

Crest's website says polyethylene is a safe, inactive ingredient used to provide color.

That wasn’t what Dumm expected, “I thought they were just dissolvable, everything good, she was like they're plastic, you should really stop using it.”

Polyethylene doesn't degrade. Once it's down the drain, it doesn't disappear.

“I'm pregnant, so I obviously don't want to take anything in that I don't want my baby to take in so it was just a big turnoff for me,” remarked Dumm.

When asked for comment, a Crest spokesperson requested to speak with the consumer directly.

Dumm, however, checks the ingredients before buying products now.

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