Potassium nitrate 5%
What is it?Potassium nitrate, derived from nitrate ore and brine, is the active ingredient in Tom's of Maine Natural Sensitive Care SLS-Free Antiplaque Toothpaste. It is an FDA-approved substance that is clinically proven effective in reducing pain by shielding the sensory nerves under the gumline.
What are the alternatives?Except for Tom's of Maine Natural Sensitive Care SLS-Free Antiplaque Toothpaste, all sensitive toothpaste products on the market today contain a synthetic form of potassium nitrate. The potassium nitrate is chemically synthesized from nitric acid, ammonia, natural gas and soda ash/potash. In our search for a more minimally processed alternative to this synthetic potassium nitrate, we have found a naturally derived source of potassium nitrate – a natural, technical grade that has been recrystallized and purified to meet pharmaceutical quality standards. In our production process, natural deposits of sodium nitrate known as caliche ore mined in Chile are combined with potassium chloride concentrated from natural brines in solar evaporation ponds, where the potassium nitrate naturally crystallizes from the solution.
What are the risks?Yes. Nitrates are often confused with nitrites. Vegetables are a primary dietary source of nitrates. Nitrites are often used in curing meats to prevent the potential of botulism poisoning. The concerns regarding nitrates usually center around nitrosamines (a potential carcinogen), which are formed in the presence of a free amine and a nitrosating agent (the latter of which is naturally occurring in many product ingredients, such as potassium nitrate). However, since there is no free amine present in Tom's of Maine Natural Sensitive Care SLS-Free Antiplaque Toothpaste, there is no possibility of reaction in the product. Tom's of Maine recognizes that no two people are alike, and even with pure and natural ingredients, some individuals may develop an allergic reaction that is unique to them. As with any product, be sure to discontinue use if you experience discomfort or other indications that the product may not be appropriate for your individual body chemistry. In addition, sensitive toothpastes provide temporary pain relief. Sensitive teeth may indicate a serious problem that may need prompt care by a dentist. See your dentist if the problem persists or worsens. Do not use a sensitive toothpaste product longer than four weeks unless recommended by a dentist or physician.
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