Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Studies Show Charcoal Toothpastes Do NOT Whiten Teeth


JADA (the Journal of the American Dental Association) has performed an analysis on over 100 articles covering charcoal toothpaste.  Their conclusion was that "there was “insufficient clinical and laboratory data” to support charcoal toothpaste’s safety or effectiveness, and warned dentists and patients to “be cautious” in using them."

Also recently the BDJ (British Dental Journal) performed a study that determined charcoal based toothpastes are a “marketing gimmick” with no scientific evidence to support claims they whiten teeth.  One of the study’s co-authors Dr. Joseph Greenwald-Cohen had the following to say:
"When used too often in people with fillings, it can get into them and become difficult to get out," Dr Greenwall-Cohen said.
"Charcoal particles can also get caught up in the gums and irritate them."
He said charcoal toothpastes and powders were more abrasive than regular toothpastes, potentially posing a risk to the enamel and gums.
The charcoal contained in today's toothpastes is usually a fine powder form of treated charcoal, the review says.
Charcoal can be made from materials including nutshells, coconut husks, bamboo and peat, and possibly wood and coal.
Prof Damien Walmsley, from the British Dental Association, said: "Charcoal-based toothpastes offer no silver bullets for anyone seeking a perfect smile, and come with real risks attached.
"So don't believe the hype. Anyone concerned about staining or discoloured teeth that can't be shifted by a change in diet, or improvements to their oral hygiene, should see their dentist."

The JADA study can be accessed here and the BDJ study is discussed in this article on the BBC website.

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