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Juna L.
Status: other
Age: 30s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 16-11-2002

I noted the question and answer attached below my paragraph and would appreciate amplification. Several years ago I went to a dentist due to sensitive teeth. He recommended I use Sensodyne with the active ingredient of "Strontium Chloride". I was living in the Middle East with the military at the time and had no problem finding that specific product in local drugstores. Now that I am back in the U.S., I cannot find it. Is there a reason it would be sold overseas but would not be safe enough to be sold in the U.S.? It really is the only active ingredient that works to alleviate my sensitive teeth. What gives? What are the uses of strontium chloride? Can we use it for toothpaste application? If yes, what is the recommended dosage?


Replies:
Juna,

Strontium chloride has a sharp bitter taste and it is toxic by ingestion or inhalation. It is certainly nothing one would want to use in toothpaste. I'm curious as to what prompted your question.


I use Sensodyne. I checked the label and it contains potassium nitrate. It seems to work just fine. I can find it at WalMart, Jewel, all the major chains. I think Colgate also makes a sensitive toothpaste, but I do not know what is in it. I keep it away from my kids, and am careful not to swallow it. You may want to talk to your dentist about a fluoride gel application--one of my dentists years ago prescribed it for me because there was some research to indicate that it actually sealed sensitive areas. I don't know the current status of the research, and the Sensodyne and Colgate seem to work just fine.

Pat Rowe


I concur with the response that strontium chloride is toxic. According to the Merck Index its minimum lethal dosage (MLD) is 400 mg./kg (intravenous in rats). Of course, this is the acute toxicity. Its long term toxicity at low levels is an entirely different issue. In addition, toxicity is dose related. Example, the LD50 (rats orally) = 180 mg/kg of sodium fluoride, which IS used in toothpaste. In humans it is lethal at a dose of 1-10gm. Merck Index also indicates that strontium chloride is used as a gum desensitizer under the commercial name "Elecol". I do not know if it is available in the U.S., if so it would undoubtedly be a prescription medication and not "over-the-counter". You would have to consult your dentist or peridontist about that. Each nation sets its own standards regarding medications, so frequently a drug is available over seas and not in the U.S. and vice versa.

Vince Calder



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