Activated charcoal toothpaste products are growing in popularity and as they hit the store shelves, we as dental professionals, urge you to do your homework before buying into these products.
Activated Charcoal Toothpaste Products – Where is the Science?
Claims now boast that activated charcoal toothpaste is all natural and can actually whiten teeth! Wow, right? An all natural product that can give you a whiter smile, sign us up! But, wait just a minute, where is the science to back up these claims? This is the problem. According to The Pharmaceutical Journal, “To date, there have been no scientific studies published proving the effectiveness of charcoal toothpaste in tooth whitening, oral hygiene, and any claimed preventative and halitosis-controlling effects.”
In fact, the Journal of the American Dental Association has warned dentists and patients to “be cautious” in using activated charcoal toothpaste. Not only is there lacking scientific evidence, but the abrasive quality of charcoal may actually cause damage to the teeth, potentially leading to tooth decay. Additionally, particles of charcoal may accumulate in crevices and other defects in teeth, leading to further discoloration. These particles may also build up in gaps between dental restorations and teeth, resulting again in discoloration. Patients with periodontal disease may accumulate charcoal deposits in “pockets” between the teeth and gums, as well, which could discolor them worse than they were before. Yikes!
In general, the risk is definitely not worth the potential reward, which has zero research to back up the claims of a whiter healthy smiler from using charcoal toothpaste products.