What is it?
Zinc citrate is a zinc salt derived from citric acid.
What does it do?
Zinc citrate is a multifunctional ingredient. In toothpaste and mouthwash, the primary role that Tom’s of Maine’s has found zinc citrate to provide is that it can help freshen breath by reducing the impact of odourous compounds produced in our mouth by bacteria. Some bacteria in our mouth produce volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs), which can leave us with ‘bad breath’. Zinc is able to react with these VSCs to reduce the odourous components to provide breath freshening.
How is it made?
To make zinc citrate, zinc oxide is combined with citric acid. Zinc citrate is precipitated from the neutralisation mixture. The crystalline zinc citrate that precipitates is then dehydrated and milled.
What are the alternatives?
In oral care products, alternatives to zinc citrate in the fight against bad breath are artificial antimicrobial agents or other natural agents like terpenes (found in spearmint oil) and tea tree oil that inhibit the odour-causing compounds.
Is this the right option for me?
Zinc is ubiquitous in the environment, being found in water, air and all living organisms. Zinc is an essential element that functions as an integral part of numerous enzymes. It is involved in many cellular processes.
Tom’s of Maine recognizes that no two people are alike, and even with naturally derived ingredients, some individuals may develop an allergic reaction that is unique to them. As with any product, be sure to discontinue use if you experience discomfort or other indications that the product may not be appropriate for your individual body chemistry.