Q. The inside of my mouth became very sensitive to salt, acid and anything spicy. When my wife looked, she said it looked like thrush.

I went to my dentist to have it checked out. After a visual assessment and asking about medications, one of his first questions was, “Are you using a cinnamon toothpaste?”

Stopping the cinnamon toothpaste and using a prescription medicated mouthwash called ‘Magic Mouthwash’ cured the condition in about 10 days. I hope this will help other readers.

A. You are not the only person to experience problems with cinnamon toothpaste. Some people are sensitive to this ingredient and may develop irritation or chapped lips as a reaction to it (Journal of the American Dental Association, Sept., 1995). Pharmacists compound Magic Mouthwash to ease oral irritation.

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  1. tresa
    Oakland, CA

    Silly me! I bought the pricey toothpaste from Whole Foods called Xyli-White instead of my Trader Joes cheapey kind and it seems I may be allergic to it. It is Cinnamon flavored and has been nearly painful when using it. Now, nearly a week later, the tissue under my tongue as well as the sides of my tongue feel inflammed and raw. After reading all the comments from you all, I have guessed that it may be caused by the cinnamon leaf oil in it! Bizarre because I eat cinnamon in my oatmeal fairly frequently without issue.

  2. Annie

    I used Crest Complete Cinnamon toothpaste for 3 days now I have sores under my tongue, on my gums and the skin of my mouth. I feel there should be more of a warning for toothpaste. I love cinnamon and can eat it but guess I can not use it as toothpaste.

  3. SLH

    I got a severe sore throat and tongue sores from using the Colgate White toothpaste and suffer the same problem with sores on my tongue when chewing the Big Red gum. I had wondered if it was artificial flavor or real cinnamon. The throat doctor that I went to thought it was acid reflux! I knew better. It is extremely painful.

  4. rich

    I recently started using ALTOID CINNAMON mints and my tongue and throat became inflamed. Couldn’t eat anything spicy. I gave my friend some and he said he had a similar reaction. Thanks for the info concerning cinnamon. What do I do with the 12 tins I bought on AMAZON?

  5. Cindy

    When I stopped smoking, are you still not smoking?

  6. sickofbeingsick

    I just came back from a holiday in the States, my partner bought these cinnamon altoids, I took two, and they seemed to cause a sensation on my tongue. The last night before I came back, I woke up with a sore throat, and discovered my tongue felt large and swollen.
    Lucky it was the last night, or my holiday would have been hellish and I couldn’t get any help, only having flight insurance rather than travel insurance.
    I am feeling that there is more to it than being plainly allergic, there is something distasteful but all too common in the way a small piece of confectionary can cause health problems, from a couple of encounters.
    It is thrush, which can take hold of the territory if you have a good health regime otherwise, there is still other bacteria where thrush would be otherwise, so it got the opportunity and seized the chance.
    Of course discovering this page – the cinnamon toothpaste / tongue problem subject is a new and interesting coincidence to me.

  7. YourVetFriend

    I hate tooth paste with peppermint of any blend. I use cinnamon and have had some problems with the lining near my lips peeling.
    Is there any tooth paste that uses wintergreen?

  8. mscott

    I also had a problem with a large spot on my tongue, that came and went. A dentist working at the Dentyne Co. told me that 2% of the population is allergic to oil of cinnamon. Stay away from products with it in it. ie, gum, candy, toothpaste. I have not had a re-occurence for years.

  9. RW

    I had used Listerine mouthwash 3x daily since getting an upper plate, since I tend to get thrush from my COPD inhaler medication. My mouth got sore, so my dentist recommended the strongest salt/water solution I could make. It is slowly healing my mouth and so far no thrush has returned (3 weeks) Is there something else I should use that is more likely to prevent thrush, or should I just stick with the salt water?

  10. Mary

    Cinnamon gum created a problem for me. I went to the dentist and she noticed that I had quite a few sores on the inside of my mouth. She recommended I go to a specialist to get it checked out. He determined it could be the cinnamon gum I was chewing frequently at the time. Sure enough, I stopped chewing the gum and my mouth healed right up. Who knew.

  11. James

    Drink extra water. When you feel hungry sip on some water. Many times we are really thirsty and we interpret as hunger.
    Extra small amount of fruit. It can be berries or a few bits of banana (the rest can stay in the refrigerator.
    Lastly if you eat bread switch to Ezekiel 4:9 Bread. It is organic and gives a low glycemic index which avoids spiking your blood sugar. You can often find in the freezer section.
    You are welcome to write back to me if you have question or like to give feedback. Hope this helps.

  12. Carole A from NH

    I am a senior citizen attempting to lose weight. I kept snacking on the wrong things so I bought a bunch of gum. I usually use Spearmint but decided with so many packs let me get the cinnamon. Mamamia!! I just got this site from a friend whom I emailed saying… the hell with the diet… the insides of my mouth, lips and sides not the tongue are soooo sore well…. I do have what I thought was a canker on the tongue.
    I have been using it for about a week…. I am amazed. Absolutely amazed. Horrible stuff… yes one should be warned of the possible effects. thx

  13. kdt

    My mouth peels horribly from almost all types of toothpaste. I have been using Colgate Luminous and I have not had that problem since changing to it.

  14. hbp

    Aquafresh – fluoride toothpaste (cavity protection ) burns my lips. Cinnamon is not listed as an ingredient.

  15. KA

    I too was using Cinnamon tooth paste when I lost my ability to taste. I can’t be sure the Cinnamon only in the tooth paste or the tooth paste alone. But I stopped using it and my ability to taste returned. There are other ingredients in the tooth paste that might have cause it, but Cinnamon is one of the main ingredients.

  16. ray

    Cinnamon can be tough stuff! when I stopped smoking, almost 30 years ago, my addiction hammered me into devouring some kind of mint or gum as a substitute. At one point I used cinnamon tic-tacs instead of lighting up (I loved the taste and the little “burn” the tic-tacs provided, almost as good as a cigarette).
    After many months of this substitute addiction, I found that the inside of my mouth constantly burned and my tongue resembled a map of the world. I stopped the tic-tacs–cold turkey–and within a couple of weeks my tortured mouth returned to normal. I’m currently hooked on altoids peppermint smalls.
    Is there anyone who can advise me on how long it’ll be before I have to switch to grape popsicles?

  17. AE

    Thank you for posting this information. Several years ago I had problems with a sore swollen mouth with the cinnamon toothpaste and now have the same problem with other toothpastes, except Sensodyne.
    Even that one causes some burning. If I stop using any toothpaste at all and use only baking soda, the sore, swollen tissues completely disappear.
    What are the companies putting in toothpaste these days that is causing so many people problems?
    I also would like to find the original Crest toothpaste.

  18. S.Scott

    Thank you for this information, I have been having these same problems with my mouth and I did recently switch to Colgate Cinnamon Toothpaste.

  19. LM

    I started getting a sore tongue from mixing cinnamon into my morning coffee and from chewing all-natural cinnamon flavored xylitol gum. The problem went away as soon as I eliminated cinnamon from my diet.
    The last time I tried the gum (just to be sure that was what had caused my discomfort) I woke up in the middle of the night with my tongue lumpy and swollen.

  20. kaf

    Cinnamon is not the only ingredient in toothpaste that causes problems. I long for the old toothpaste. I now switch between several brands because any one will cause the lining of my mouth to peel. Fortunately not painful, just disgusting. Original Crest didn’t use to cause this, but I can no longer find it.

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