What is it?Zinc citrate is a zinc salt. It is made when citric acid (derived from corn) is combined with the zinc source (zinc oxide) and a precipitate is formed which is purified and dried.
What does it do?Zinc citrate is a multifunctional ingredient. It can be used as a dietary supplement and zinc is an important nutrient necessary for protein synthesis, wound healing, and normal tissue function just to name a few of its benefits.
Tartar forms in the mouth when plaque mineralizes on your teeth. The resulting hard deposits (calcified plaque or tartar) can only be removed by a dentist or hygienist. If allowed to accumulate, tartar can provide even more surface area for plaque to accumulate. In oral care products, zinc citrate helps prevent tartar buildup by preventing plaque from hardening (calcifying). Gingivitis is a disease of the gums that occurs when bacteria accumulate on teeth, producing toxins and irritants that lead to red, puffy gums. If left untreated, gingivitis can result in tooth loss and other health problems. Zinc citrate helps prevent gingivitis by inhibiting bacterial accumulation on teeth and gums.
In deodorant products zinc citrate works by inhibiting the growth of odor causing bacteria; unpleasant odor is caused by skin bacteria when we sweat. Zinc works by interfering with bacterial sugar and peptide metabolism which impairs bacterial function and therefore prevents odor.
What are the alternatives?In oral care products, alternatives to zinc citrate in the fight against gingivitis are the combination of four essential oils: menthol, eucalyptol, methyl salicylate, and thymol. In the combination of four essential oils, in order to get that combination to work against gingivitis it is necessary to add a large amount of alcohol, an ingredient we are mindful of and work with sparingly.
What are the risks?Zinc citrate is considered a safe and appropriate ingredient for tartar control and antigingivitis oral care products and has a history of use as a dietary supplement. Although there are no known health risks related to using products that contain zinc citrate, some users of the oral care products may experience a metallic aftertaste.
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.
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