Charcoal based toothpastes have become all the rage recently in oral health and are being promoted by Hollywood stars and beauty companies as the best method to whiten teeth, re-mineralize cavities and freshen breath. However, recent studies have found charcoal is actually causing more harm than good when it comes to your oral health.
So, What is Charcoal?
Charcoal is a form of carbon that is commonly used in filtration media. In fact, it’s often the main component in water filters due to its porous surface area that binds, attracts, and removes impurities and other undesired particles.
Is It Safe to Use?
A recent study found that charcoal provided minimal protection against tooth decay. In fact, it was found that adding charcoal to toothpaste can actually make things worse. Some people with fillings found charcoal stuck between the filling and tooth. Others had charcoal particles caught under the gum tissue and when not removed created problems, like infections, gum recession and bone loss.
Charcoal is a naturally abrasive substance and its daily use could result in wearing away enamel from your teeth! That can cause your teeth to become more yellow, darker and even temperature sensitive! Even worse, charcoal contains various polyaromatic hydrocarbons, which are well-known carcinogens!
Interestingly, charcoal containing toothpastes are nothing new. In fact, ancient Romans would combine charcoal powder with crushed bones, oyster shells and bark. Yuck!
Finally, our recommendation is to save the charcoal for the BBQ and put down any toothpaste with charcoal in it!
As always, my staff and I are available to answer any concerns you may have about any oral health.
To Your Health,
James Segulyev, D.D.S.