Aluminum foil may contain arsenic and other heavy metals, and it can also cause damage to the human teeth, according to researchers.
The findings could have implications for people who are currently using aluminum foil to clean teeth.
“This study shows that aluminum foil can damage your teeth, and could be harmful to your health in the long run,” said Dr. Paul Dittrich, director of the Institute of Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Dittrich and colleagues evaluated the effects of a 1.5-milliliter aluminum foil coated with zinc oxide on the growth of a type of bacterium.
They found that the aluminum foil’s zinc oxide coated surface had a concentration of zinc oxide equal to or greater than the concentration of aluminum in the mouth of an uninfected person.
“The amount of zinc in the aluminum was higher than the amount of aluminum present in the plaque,” said Dittich.
“The higher the zinc concentration, the greater the damage.”
The aluminum-coated foil is made by mixing zinc oxide with aluminum oxide.
The aluminum-based aluminum foil has a slightly different chemical formula than aluminum oxide, so it doesn’t contain any zinc, but it does contain the same amount of metal.
“There’s no reason to believe that these particles can’t damage your mouth if they get into your teeth,” said lead researcher Dr. Dittic.
“If you don’t wash your mouth regularly, the particles can easily migrate through your gums and into your mouth.”
We need to continue to educate our public on how to protect their teeth,” he said.”
While the study focused on the effects on bacteria and viruses, the findings also apply to human teeth. “
Dental sealants are known to help prevent the transmission of zinc-related diseases.”
While the study focused on the effects on bacteria and viruses, the findings also apply to human teeth.
Dr. Michael Wier, director at the Mayo Clinic, said the results of the study “provide new insights into the long-term consequences of ingesting aluminum foil.”
Wier said the study was published in the journal Infectious Disease Clinics of North America.
“This is an important study that provides a deeper understanding of the long term impact of aluminum foil use on the oral health of children and adults,” he told News24.
Wier also emphasized that it’s vital that people wash their teeth regularly and wash their hands after brushing.
“It’s important for kids to wash their mouths and their hands regularly, especially if they are children,” he explained.
“If they are not washing their mouth regularly they’re also at risk of ingest[ing] the aluminum-containing particles.”