Surfactants (detergents) such as sodium lauryl sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate and lauryl sarcosinate are used to produce a foam that helps clean teeth. The first two have significant antibacterial properties but can irritate oral tissues. To minimize this, lauryl sarcosinate is used in part or in whole as a replacement.
Source: Field S, Why There's Antifreeze in Your Toothpaste: The Chemistry of Household Ingredients, Chicago Review Press, 2008, pg 239-241.
Hans Skariah, B.Sc., DMD
Promenade Court Dental Health Group in Mississauga
2233 Hurontario St., Mississauga, ON, Canada
(1/2 km north of the QEW in the Dome Building)