Why Does My Stomach Hurt After I Brush My Teeth?

A lady brushing her teeth

The most likely culprit behind that post-brushing stomach ache is your toothpaste. Many toothpaste brands include minty flavors and other ingredients that can cause irritation to sensitive stomachs. The two main reasons for this discomfort are minty freshness and foaming agents.

Mint is a common flavor found in toothpaste, and it’s known for its ability to leave your mouth feeling refreshed. However, mint can be quite overpowering for some individuals, especially if you swallow a small amount while brushing. This can lead to a sensation of stomach discomfort or even nausea.

Toothpaste also contains foaming agents like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). These agents create the foamy texture we associate with toothpaste but can sometimes have an adverse effect. When SLS comes into contact with your stomach lining, it may cause irritation, leading to that uncomfortable feeling.

Why Does My Stomach Hurt After I Brush My Teeth?

Allergic to Toothpaste

Toothpaste comes in a variety of formulations, and some of its ingredients can trigger allergic reactions in certain individuals. You might not even realize you have a hidden toothpaste allergy until you experience that uncomfortable post-brushing stomach ache.

Many toothpaste brands include antimicrobial agents and sodium lauryl sulfate, a foaming agent that can potentially cause allergic responses. Additionally, fragrances and flavorings can also be culprits in toothpaste allergies.

Among the most common flavorings associated with toothpaste allergies are cinnamon, spearmint, carvone, and anethole. It’s important not to overlook this potential health issue. Seeking appropriate treatment for your allergic reaction is the right step to take.

Toothpaste consumption

Sometimes, we underestimate the small amounts of toothpaste we inadvertently swallow during our daily brushing routine.

Toothpaste contains an active ingredient called sodium fluoride, which helps strengthen our teeth against decay and the bacteria responsible for cavities. Maintaining good oral health is essential, as it keeps bad breath at bay.

It’s entirely normal to ingest small amounts of toothpaste while brushing. However, problems may arise if you consume excessive amounts of fluoride toothpaste in one go or on a regular basis.

For adults, accidentally swallowing a bit of toothpaste occasionally isn’t usually a cause for concern, unless it becomes a habit. When it comes to children, special attention is needed to ensure they don’t ingest toothpaste, as it often looks colorful and tastes appealing.

If a child accidentally consumes a substantial amount of toothpaste, they may experience an upset stomach, along with symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea. In such cases, it’s crucial to rinse their mouth thoroughly with water and seek immediate medical attention.

A lady brushing her teeth

How to Avoid Stomach Hurt After Brushing

If you find that your stomach often hurts after brushing your teeth, there are a few steps you can take to minimize this discomfort:

  • Choose a Mild Toothpaste: Look for toothpaste options that are specifically labeled as gentle or for sensitive teeth. These toothpaste have fewer irritating ingredients.
  • Use Less Toothpaste: Using less toothpaste can reduce the likelihood of ingesting it and experiencing stomach discomfort.
  • Spit, Don’t Swallow: While brushing, make sure to thoroughly rinse and spit out the toothpaste foam instead of swallowing it. This will help prevent any unwanted contact between toothpaste ingredients and your stomach lining.
  • Wait Before Eating: If possible, try to wait for a little while after brushing before eating breakfast or drinking anything. This allows your stomach to settle and reduces the chances of discomfort.
  • Consider Non-Mint Options: If minty toothpaste is consistently causing you discomfort, consider switching to a toothpaste with a different flavor, such as fruit or cinnamon.


If your stomach hurts after brushing your teeth, it’s often because of the toothpaste you’re using. Some toothpaste ingredients, like minty flavors and foaming agents, can bother your stomach when swallowed.

To avoid this, try using a gentler toothpaste, use less of it, and make sure not to swallow it. Also, wait a bit before eating after brushing. If the problem keeps happening or gets worse, it’s a good idea to talk to a doctor. But with a few changes to your brushing routine, you can usually prevent that tummy ache and keep your teeth healthy.


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