Controversial ingredient in toothpaste may lodge plastic beads in your gums

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Controversial Ingredient in Toothpaste May Lodge Plastic Beads in Your Gums
"I didn't have any clue what is was," Trish Walraven, a dental hygienist, said about the strange blue dots that she kept seeing in her patient's mouths. "We thought it was a cleaning product or something that people were chewing."

As it turns out, some toothpastes contain little blue, plastic microbeads made of polyethylene – which is a plastic also used to make garbage containers, grocery bags and bullet proof vests.

Dentists say it shouldn't be anywhere near your mouth.

"They'll trap bacteria in the gums which leads to gingivitis, and over time that infection moves from the gum into the bone that holds your teeth and that becomes periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is scary," Dr. Justin Phillip, a dentist, told CNN.

Trish found that most of her patients who had the little blue dots in their mouths used Crest toothpaste, so she wrote a blog and posted it online. It garnered national attention, including a response from the makers of Crest.

Because of all the backlash from consumers, Crest says they will be removing the controversial ingredient and that most products will be microbead-free within six months.

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Crest Toothpaste
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Controversial ingredient in toothpaste may lodge plastic beads in your gums
@ChrisP2141 We have begun removing microbeads from our toothpastes, and the majority will be microbead-free within 6 months. Thanks!
@examinercom The ingredient is completely safe and FDA approved. However, we have already started removing it due to consumer demand. TY!
Procter & Gamble Co. Crest brand toothpaste sits on display in a supermarket in Princeton, Illinois, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 01: Packages of Crest toothpaste are displayed on a shelf in a Key Food Supermarket in the Brooklyn borough of New York Monday, August 1, 2005.  (Photo by Ramin Talaie/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
(AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
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