If you brush your teeth with a typical toothpaste, even if you then rinse your mouth thoroughly, it will be enough for you to drink a simple orange juice so that it tastes horrible. Why does toothpaste alter our sense of taste with this and other foods to such an extent?
The secret lies in a single toothpaste ingredient: the Sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES).
He Sodium lauryl ether sulfate It is a surfactant, that is, something that breaks the tension on the surface of a liquid and makes it possible to remove fat from things.
It is not harmful (it is considered safe, although the effects of irritation increase with increasing concentration), but it has this curious side effect if you take it to your mouth: SLES breaks down fats or phospholipids, which block some taste buds bitter, making everything taste more bitter. The molecules also block the papillae corresponding to the sweet taste.
It is used in industrial products such as car wash soap, engine degreasers and floor cleaners. Sodium lauryl sulfate is also an ingredient found in a wide range of personal care products such as soaps and shampoos. Its great cleaning capacity is due to this surfactant ingredient. When used with water, they generate foam and allow the product to remove dirt. Another surfactant that helps products, in addition to SLES, is the sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS).