You’ve probably heard a lot about charcoal toothpaste lately. Celebrities have embraced it, and it seems like everyone is talking about it on social media. Before you go shopping for a tube, you need to know what the hype is about and the potential dangers of charcoal toothpaste.
The Charcoal Toothpaste Trend: All the Hype
Social media influencers and marketing gurus have presented charcoal toothpaste as a cure-all for oral issues. The main claim is charcoal toothpaste whitens and brightens teeth. Supposedly, charcoal toothpaste is a wonder product that can even remove tough stains from wine or coffee. Advertising also presents charcoal toothpaste as antifungal, antibacterial, natural, and eco-friendly.
The problem is none of these claims are backed by scientific evidence. The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) published the work of a research team that searched two major databases of scientific literature for studies related to charcoal dentifrices. After reviewing 118 articles, the team found no scientific studies showed charcoal toothpaste as an effective dental whitener. None of the studies supported the antimicrobial claims. In fact, several studies reported harmful effects from using charcoal on your teeth.
Four Dangers of Charcoal Toothpaste
• Dental Erosion
Charcoal toothpaste is highly abrasive. It can remove your tooth enamel to reveal the tissue underneath called dentin. Since dentin is yellow, using charcoal toothpaste can make your teeth more yellowish rather than whiter. More importantly, exposed dentin often results in painful sensitivity. Dental erosion is not reversible.
• Unsafe Ingredients
Bentonite clay, which is an ingredient in one-third of the brands of charcoal toothpaste in the JADA study, may contain the carcinogen crystalline silica. In addition, one researcher from the JADA study stated the charcoal may be a carcinogen.
• Gum Irritation
Charcoal particles can get stuck in the gums, which can cause gum inflammation and irritation.
• Greater Risk of Cavities
Most charcoal toothpaste products do not have adequate levels of fluoride. Fluoride in toothpaste strengthens tooth enamel to prevent cavities.
Our experienced professionals at Fisher Pointe Dental provide safe, evidence-based dental care. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.