What Happens If You Swallow Toothpaste?

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Swallowing regular toothpaste can lead to stomach pain and intestinal blockage, states MedlinePlus. Swallowing a large amount of toothpaste with fluoride in it can also lead to convulsions, diarrhea, trouble breathing, shock, tremors, vomiting, general weakness or even heart attack.

Most people who swallow regular toothpaste do not need to go to the emergency room unless they develop symptoms, according to MedlinePlus. However, those who swallow a large amount of fluoride toothpaste, especially small children, may need to go. At the hospital, doctors give the patient calcium to reverse the effects of the poison, as well as an endoscopy to see if there are any burns to the esophagus. Patients also may receive IV fluids and a gastric lavage, or stomach pumping, to wash out the stomach.