a picture of toothpaste on brush

a picture of toothpaste on brush

People may one day be able to cure food sensitivities by merely brushing their teeth. A New York City-based business has begun testing a product in a small sample of people. All of them are allergic to peanuts. The goal is to provide consumers tiny amounts of peanut protein regularly. That should assist them in developing and maintaining tolerance to it. According to Intrommune Therapeutics experts, tying this therapy to a daily routine should help allergy sufferers stick to regular treatment. The firm created the new toothpaste. According to the researchers, this medication may also perform a better job than conventional medicines at distributing active components to immune cells throughout the mouth. 

Toothpaste for allergies?

Food allergies affect 32 million Americans. Oral immunotherapy is one existing treatment. It exposes patients to tiny quantities of an allergen regularly through dosages ingested as food. People may, however, respond to the therapy itself. And tolerance to an allergen typically fades in the absence of continuous dosage. 

Sublingual immunotherapy is a milder treatment. Smaller dosages are administered by liquid drops put beneath the tongue. This treatment provides enough protection. It also has fewer adverse side effects. It may be beneficial for allergies that are detected early. For example, mouth drops have more substantial, longer-lasting effects in toddlers than in older children. Researchers on February 27 revealed this. They presented their findings during the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology virtual conference. 

Nonetheless, patients may find it challenging to adhere to this regular treatment. And the immune cells that are believed to be the most significant targets are not just found under the tongue. They are densest inside the cheeks and other areas of the mouth. 

William Reisacher is a physician who specializes in allergies. In New York City, he works at Weill Cornell Medicine. He was brushing his teeth in front of a mirror a few years back. “I saw all of the foam in my mouth traveling to all of the places I wanted it to go,” he adds. This sparked the concept of incorporating dietary proteins into toothpaste. This would deliver the therapy to the correct cells and integrate it into a routine. 

Clinical Studies

“When Bill told me about this insane notion he had, I thought it was brilliant,” Michael Nelson says. The business has just begun a clinical study of toothpaste, including 32 individuals who are allergic to peanuts. According to Nelson, future studies may include the testing of kinds of toothpaste containing several allergies. 

Other allergists agree with the toothpaste idea. However, some people are concerned about dosage management and safety. The gums of a person might become painful and inflamed. This can occur, for example, following dental treatment or the loss of a tooth. Allergens may get direct access to the bloodstream through swollen gums. According to Sakina Bajowala, this might raise the likelihood of systemic allergic responses. Kaneland Allergy & Asthma Center in North Aurora, Illinois, employs her as an allergist. She provides food and environmental allergy immunotherapies, both orally and sublingually. 

“Safety is something I’m going to keep a careful eye on,” she says. But, she continues, if “they can establish it’s safe and effective,” that’s wonderful.