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Avatar universal

Toothbrush keeps turning pink!

I have been having a strange problem for the past five months or so.  I use a sonicare toothbrush and the bristles keep turning pink right away after use.  I thought at first it was serratia marcascens in the bathroom and that it was growing on my brush because it was wet.  I always let it airdry and never put it in the case.  The weird part, though, is that my toothbrush is the only one in the bathroom that turns pink.  My boyfriends sonicare is fine, and my daughter's is fine.  The problem seems to be isolated only to me.  Around the same time my toothbrush started turning pink I also had developed a persistent ear infection and pain behind my right eye.  This seems to be getting better now with antibiotics but the pink toothbrush problem still exists.  In addition, I have had extreme surface staining of my teeth for the past year.  I had my teeth cleaned and within two months, I had staining again.  I use regular colgate toothpaste (not whitening or tartar control) and don't use any mouth rinses.

This is driving me crazy thinking that I have gum disease or a systemic bacterial infection!  My dentist says he has never heard of a toothbrush turning pink.

Any suggestions?

15 Responses
Avatar universal
I forgot to mention that my gums are not bleeding.
Avatar universal

To me it seems that there can only be two causes, and you already mentioned them. Slightly bleeding gums, or some sort of bacteria on your brush. As an experiment I suggest that you get a manual toothbrush and use that for a week or two and see what happens.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your response! I have tried that already.  Unfortunately, the manual brushes turn pink too (again, mine is the only one in the household that does this).  At my last dental checkup, my dentist didn't express any concerns about gum disease, but asked me if I used Crest Prohealth because of all the staining.  I have never used any mouthwash as it just dries me out.

It's very frustrating as my dentist tells me to ask my doctor, and my doctor tells me to ask the dentist....so, that's why I'm here.  :)  If I don't receive any hits, I'll probably move on to bacterial infection forums and try there.  It's worth a shot.  
1480819 tn?1295763633
If your toothbrush gets pink it is a sign of active periodontal disease. If your insurance doesnt cover dental cleaning or rutine periodontal check ups then your dentist will not bother checking. It is related to your overall health and it specifically affects your gums and your teeth. If you do not investigate and arrest a periodontal disease you can get an asymptomatic infection and lose all your teeth at an early age. Its serious
Avatar universal
I appreciate your response, and it is definitely a concern that I have not yet ruled out.  I am making an appt with my dentist to have myself checked out.  However, just to be clear, my gums are not bleeding.  The pink on the toothbrush develops overnight and continues to get worse each time I use it.  The pink doesn't immediately appear.  In addition, I just bought a Sonicare UV sanitizer and since I've been using it, the pink on my toothbrush has all but disappeared.  That, of course, is not to say that the problem has been eradicated, but it is indicative of bacteria causing the discoloration.  This is just a "self-diagnosis."   I agree with you that the health of teeth and gums is very important and I'm absolutely going to check it out just to make sure.  After my appt, I'll post back and let you know if you were right!  No offense, but I hope not! :D
1480819 tn?1295763633
I am a Dental Hygienist and i deal with this "pink brush" problem all the times. Of course your GP will be able to diagnose your oral tissue conditions better. Just so you know using an electrical toothbrush could either progress or regress your conditions. How?
Well if you dont use it properly then it will regress your conditions.
If you are pregnant, suffer from blood disorders or take any blood thinner medications you need to let your Dentist know ASAP.
Avatar universal

I have exactly the same issue after using my sonicare brush about 3-4 times now, I am curious as to after seeing your dentist was your problem resolved? If so what was the cure? I haven't taken an app as yet with my dentist.

Thanks much!
Avatar universal
I am experiencing the same problem, has anyone resolved this issue???
Avatar universal
Not only do my husband & I have the sterilizing unit, neither of us has periodontal disease or bleeding gums.  Over time our brushes may or may not turn red.  Sometimes his turns and sometimes mine turns.  It is the oddest thing.  I thought I would find answers here but everyone seems to be as puzzled as we are :-(
Avatar universal
have you guys found any answer to this puzzle.. i have changed 5 brushes in last one week... i wonder what is causing this.. me and my wife are in 30's.. our teeth seems ok.. no gum problems.. but unable to ascertain the reason why bristles are turning pink?? pl help. Its driving me into thinking toms of things..
Avatar universal
Thank you for starting this thread! I've been experiencing the same strange occurrence with the (case only) of my sonic care toothbrush head turning bright pink/red and I have had slightly bleeding gums at one point over the past few years. Ironically, when I had early signs of gum disease, the case of my toothbrush head was clear. But now that my gums appear fine, the head of my toothbrush case is bright pink/red. Hopefully, the pink/red color is nothing too serious... Please come back to this thread and let us know if you find out any new info and I will do the same.
Avatar universal
So this came to me at 4am as many revelations seem to. lol

By chance, do you wear any sort of retainer or dental guard at nightime that may harbor bacteria that would transfer to your toothbrush? If so, may explain why this only happens to your toothbrush and not your boyfriend or daughter's...

Avatar universal
I am Poonam pathak from india and 38 year of age .I am also facing the same problem since six months and I had changed my Oral-B toothbrus
h with colgate but It also turned pink.  I am also suffering from hypo thyroid since one year so my toothbrush can turn pink due to this I think so.All of you should check your thyroid level because I feel that this pink brush problem after this problem of thyroid.May be the medicine taken by me is Thyronorm could cause of this pink brush problem.

Hello poonam Pathak. My wife has a similar Pink brush problem & she is also a HypoThyroid. Did you get the root cause??
Avatar universal
Guys, I even face the same issue whenever  use the toothbrush case. If I keep my brush out of the case it won't turn pink. I think it is with the plastic material or the other Serratia bacteria problem.
Avatar universal
I have the same problem with reoccurring ear infections and pink tooth brush
Mine s the only one out of 5 thoothbrushes in the house that has this issue....I find that I have the same reoccurring ear infection to be troubling.
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