Yes, if you have celiac disease you need to use gluten-free toothpaste. The same goes for any other beauty or hygiene product that goes in or around your mouth. The good news is that most toothpaste does not contain gluten. But like with anything, you always want to check just to make sure the toothpaste you are buying is safe.
Toothpaste can have gluten in it. I personally have yet to find a toothpaste with gluten ingredients but it is possible. That’s because they can use gluten derived and containing ingredients to flavor the toothpaste or thicken it.
However, it’s also important to note that most flavors will be gluten-free and most toothpaste companies stopped using gluten a thickener (infact, I literally could not find one that did – that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, just that if it does, it’s very rare – still always check your toothpaste).
Some gluten-free toothpastes will just say “gluten-free” right on the label. In that case, it makes it easy to know if the toothpaste is safe.
However, if the toothpaste isn’t marked as gluten-free, then you’ll want to see if the toothpaste brand has a statement on their website indicating it’s gluten-free.
If not, then you’ll want to check the ingredients for gluten yourself. You’ll want to look for obvious signs of gluten in the form of barley, rye, and wheat. Find an ingredient you’re unsure of (like natural flavors)? Contact the company to see if it’s gluten-free.
Some sources say you need to worry about sorbitol when checking if your toothpaste is gluten-free. Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol that can be derived from gluten containing grains. So I get the concern.
However, all sugar alcohols, including sorbitol, are considered gluten-free regardless of starting material because of the heavy processing that makes it impossible for gluten to be present. So if you see sorbitol or other sugar alcohols on the label, don’t stress. It’s safe.
Additionally, some people say you need to be careful of other thickeners like xanthan gum in gluten-free toothpaste. This is because xanthan gum is produced from bacteria fed glucose syrup and sometimes the glucose syrup is derived from wheat.
However, xanthan is always gluten-free. Yes, even if the bacteria used to grow the xanthan gum were fed glucose derived from wheat, it. That’s because Glucose is always gluten-free regardless of where it comes from due to processing (just like sugar alcohols). Plus, if there were gluten leftover in the glucose (which there isn’t), the bactera would not use it in the production of xanthan gum.
All of that out of the way, which toothpastes are gluten-free? Like I mentioned above, I couldn’t find a toothpaste that wasn’t gluten-free. Again, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, it just means I couldn’t find it. But to ease your mind, below are list of brands that sell toothpaste without gluten containing ingredients.
Googling if something is safe, like googling “gluten-free toothpaste” is helpful until it’s not. When looking at competing blog posts, I noticed a lot of misinformation in the top performing posts (like implying sorbitol and xanthan gum aren’t safe). Don’t let the internet scare you.
And if you need more help with how to identify safe gluten-free products, how to avoid cross-contact with celiac, and more, check out the Celiac Crash Course.
It’s a self-paced course designed by a celiac specialized dietitian who’s lived with celiac for over 10 years (me), to make sure everyone has access to updated and correct information on how to stay celiac safe in the USA.