Brushing with Iodine

I had a patient come in today with the most stain I have seen in some time. More remarkably, it’s been only 3 months since his last cleaning. He claims to drink coffee and take Chinese herbs, but the big difference is he is brushing with iodine. That is a major stain producer for teeth.

Iodine in the proper form is a nutrient, and is used by the thyroid gland to produce its hormones.   Data shows that it strongly deficient from the American diet. I have so many middle aged patients who, on their medical history forms, write down that they are suffering from some thyroid condition. Fluoride, on top of everything, is similar to iodine in structure and competes with iodine in the thyroid. This is one of the arguments for not fluoridating the public water systems.


In recent years, in the aftermath of the accident at the Japanese nuclear energy plant, iodine has become a popular way to proof the body against radiation created in the nuclear fallout.  In an interesting article in Natural News, a Dr. Brownstein writes, “If there is enough inorganic, non-radioactive iodine in our bodies, the radioactive fallout has nowhere to bind in our bodies. It will pass through us, leaving our bodies unharmed. It is important to ensure that we have adequate iodine levels BEFORE this fallout hits.”

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I noticed that there is a solution called Lugol’s Iodine” which has been used to disinfect water. On top of everything else iodine is known to do,there is data that iodine can help with decay and gum disease.

So, iodine is not a well publicized product for intraoral use. But there really is something to it. Keep in mind to check the directions, and realize that with some types of iodine that your teeth will stain a lot. You and your hygienist may become good friends!