What’s the Hype About Charcoal Toothpaste

Markiewicz Dental of Mundelein is your source for dental information.  Here is some information on Cosmetic Dentistry and Oral Hygiene.
Dr. David and I have been asked numerous times about charcoal toothpaste and mouth rinses. Numerous claims have been made in the media and by celebrity  spokes-people that they are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and do a remarkable job of whitening your teeth.
If you don’t want to read the details, our advise: 
Don’t use charcoal products
Interested in some details:

 

In 2017, the American Dental Association reviewed over 100 studies that had been done on charcoal products and found the anti-fungal and antibacterial claims to be unsubstantiated.
The review, published in the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA), found that charcoal and charcoal-based products may even do your teeth more harm than good, and concluded that there was not enough clinical data to back these products’ safety and efficacy claims.
Charcoal toothpastes don’t usually contain fluoride.  Fluoride is necessary to eliminate plaque and prevent tooth decay.  Charcoal powders also tend to be quite abrasive and can remove enamel and contribute to root abrasion.  Most tooth abrasion is not caused by your toothbrush, but by your toothpaste.  Sure, they can remove stains, any abrasive can do that, but what else is the abrasive removing.  The key to a good toothpaste is stain removal with limited abrasion.  
What about Tooth Whitening?  Also, stain removal is not the same as whitening.  In a review published in 2019 in the British Dental Journal (BDJ), experts said that nearly all of the 50-plus charcoal-based pastes and powders tested were found to contain an insufficient amount of free-radical bleaching agent for them to have any whitening or stain-removal effect. They added that charcoal-based toothpastes that promise to whiten teeth are a “marketing gimmick”.
Researchers also found that charcoal can “deactivate” fluoride, so even if the charcoal product you use contains fluoride, it may not be effective in fighting tooth decay.  There may be other negative aspects to using these charcoal dental products. The BDJ and JADA reviews highlighted the potential presence of carcinogenic compounds in  charcoal-based toothpastes.  
So, if you want to keep your teeth and gums in good condition and minimize stains, it is best to stick to a proper oral care routine.  This involves twice-daily brushing with fluoride toothpaste, seeing your Mundelein Dentists at Markiewicz Dental regularly, and avoiding heavily pigmented foods and anything with artificial colors.
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