In the last few years, a trend focused on using activated charcoal as a health supplement has exploded from the Internet, where it began, to the marketplace.
This has included supplements, skin care products, and now it even includes toothpaste. A quick look online shows a wide variety of charcoal toothpastes are available.
Everyone desires an attractive, white smile, and charcoal toothpaste may seem trendy and cost-effective.
And what could the problem with it be? Well, more than you might think, according to the staff here at Warner Lakes Dental.
While charcoal-based whitening may initially seem harmless, it can end up staining your teeth, harming them, and leading to more serious dental problems.
Let’s take a look.
Why would anyone think charcoal is good for teeth?
It’s not as bizarre as it might seem to think that charcoal can clean teeth – as long ago as Roman times humans have used charcoal (along with ground up bones and shells), to whiten their teeth.
The logic had two parts:
- Charcoal is very absorbent; in fact, it has long been used on patients who may have swallowed a potential poison; therefore, it might be able to absorb bacteria and stains on your teeth. Theoretically, the result is whiter, brighter teeth.
- Charcoal is abrasive, so it can scrub off stubborn stains. Theoretically, the result is whiter, brighter teeth.
One of which (abrasive) might be true, but this overlooks the substantial damage that charcoal toothpaste can cause.
Why charcoal isn’t that good for teeth
First, it’s important to note that no scientific study has ever concluded that charcoal toothpaste is particularly effective at whitening, but worse, research does uncover the following possible threats:
Abrasion. This is the main issue. If charcoal removes stains, it accomplishes that by grinding off the top layers of tooth enamel.
This may temporarily remove stains, but it comes with a massive downside as time goes by. As enamel abrades, teeth become more prone to temperature sensitivity, making it more difficult to drink or eat hot foods.
Physical damage can also ensue, including chips, cracks, and decay. Worse, any initial cosmetic gains from charcoal are almost sure to be short-lived.
As enamel disappears, the soft dentin beneath begins to show through. Dentin is yellow-coloured, and once the enamel is thinned, dentin’s yellow colour is free to show through your teeth permanently.
In some cases, abrasive charcoal particles can lodge in the gumline, causing or exacerbating gum disease.
Over-absorption. Charcoal is often used in cases of potential poisoning because it absorbs chemicals in the body. This means it can have adverse effects on patients taking oral medications.
Constipation. Here’s one you probably don’t want to overthink! Constipation and even intestinal blockage can result from the long-term use of charcoal, in addition to black stools.
After effects of charcoal. Many people who swear by charcoal toothpaste also report that after using it they need to use regular toothpaste to wash it’s residue away.
Otherwise, they suffer from “charcoal breath” and have a black residue on their teeth and gums.
Lack of fluoride. One study showed that less than one-in-ten charcoal toothpastes contained fluoride.
This means that charcoal based toothpaste shouldn’t be used to replace regular toothpaste that contains fluoride.
Fluoride fights dental decay – it remineralises enamel, making it stronger and safer than before use! Burn
Unknown safety. There are few studies on the benefits of charcoal as a dietary supplement, so both short and long-term effects are unknown.
With the advantages of charcoal toothpaste unclear and the potential list of harmful side effects so daunting, what is someone suffering from discoloured or stained teeth to do?
Talk to us at Warner Lakes Dental! We offer safe, effective, time-proven treatments that are far from fads!
Teeth Whitening Options at Warner Lakes Dental
Warner Lakes Dental is your answer to dingy teeth. We offer in-office, Zoom Whitening in-office, and at-home professional whitening.
In consultation with us, you choose the whitening technique that is best suited to you, all coming with the promise of whitening of up to 8 shades in very little time.
If you suffer from ‘permanent’ discolouration or have teeth with cosmetic issues in addition to staining or discolouration, consider our porcelain veneers.
These wafer-thin shell slip over your existing teeth to quickly give you a bright, white, smile upgrade.
Don’t mess about with Internet fads, see the professionals at Warner Lakes Dental!
The Warner Lakes Dental Experience
Warner Lakes Dental makes your visit the quickest and most convenient experience possible. From our parking lot to check out, we make the process as painless and straightforward as possible.
From routine check-ups and cleans to root canals, extractions, and cosmetic procedures; Warner Lakes Dental is your partner in dental health.
We want you and your family to enjoy life with a stunning smile and a healthy mouth, teeth, and gums!
Teeth Whitening Promotions
For Whiter, Brighter Teeth,
- In Chair Whitening Treatment for $399 (normally valued at $899)
- Package (In Chair + Take Home) $599 (normally valued at $1200)
We are located at Warner Lakes Medical Precinct, 1185B Old North Road in Warner.