Support Salvation Army California Wildfire Relief

Dental discovery prompts changes to your toothpaste

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

(KTVI) - Dentists across the United State are noticing something strange in the mouths of patients -- little blue beads. But they didn't know where they were coming from so they spoke up.  Now one toothpaste manufacturer is taking action.

Dentists started finding little blue plastic beads stuck in their patients' teeth.  And until a few years ago, they had never seen anything like it.

The little blue dots were getting trapped in the tiny spaces between teeth and gums.  It took a while, but dentists finally figured it out.  it was plastic microbeads used in toothpaste.   And most patients said they were using some form of Crest toothpaste.

So the dentists contacted Crest for a change.

"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," said Dr. Justin Phillip.  "Periodontal disease is scary."

Crest says the majority of its toothpaste will be microbead-free in six months.  They'll be completely gone by March 2016.