Inflammatory reaction of the anterior dorsal tongue presumably to sodium lauryl sulfate within toothpastes: a triple case report

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Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), a popular surface active agent ingredient within toothpastes, is known for its foaming action. Surface active agents increase the effectiveness of toothpastes with respect to dental plaque removal. SLS is a known irritant and also has allergenic potential. The authors report 3 patients with oral pain secondary to inflammation of the dorsal anterior tongue. These patients were all using toothpastes with SLS as an ingredient.


The dorsal tongue lesions and oral pain resolved upon switching to toothpastes without SLS as an ingredient.


Clinicians should be aware of the potential of SLS within toothpastes to cause oral mucosal inflammatory reactions of the anterior dorsal tongue. To our knowledge, these are the first case reports of oral mucosal inflammatory reactions of the anterior dorsal tongue associated with SLS containing toothpastes.

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