One of the questions I get asked every now and then is, “Does that charcoal toothpaste work?” I can honestly say I had no clue that product was even out there before hearing the question.
After reading up on the subject I’ve realized there isn’t much literature out there. This was actually the main reason I decided to pick up “a pen and paper” (really I’m just using my iPhone and two thumbs).
One of the biggest problems with activated charcoal toothpaste is that there is no real research to support its use for teeth whitening. We don’t know if it’s causing damage to our gums, teeth, salivary glands, or other oral tissues.
How does it work?
Activated charcoal is a treated charcoal that is extremely porous, and has many negatively charged ions on its surface. This charge allows for adsorption (not absorption), which is where an object will attract another without completely absorbing it.
It’s most common uses are poison control and water decontamination. A teaspoon full of it has the same surface area as a football field! (1)
In theory, yes. It should cleanse the impurities on your teeth’s surfaces. The problem is, most of the activated charcoal toothpaste out there haven’t been rigorously tested. Who knows what it’s doing to our gums and other oral tissues? Frankly, we need more info.
If you feel like you must use this remedy, use “Black is White Toothpaste” from Curaprox. It contains fluoride and nanohydroxyapatite (nHA), which both works to replenish tooth structure. I don’t know what it’s doing to your gums, but I at least know it’s helping to strengthen your teeth. (2)
Stick to the basics…
While it may seem like an inexpensive and quick way to get whiter teeth, the truth is, you’re gambling. Your gums, teeth, and other oral tissues are not just important to your oral health, but your entire body’s well-being.
We know that in office bleaching works very well, is safe on tooth structure, but is damaging to the gums. This is why we protect the tissues with a barrier when placing it.
Come to your local dental office in Kennewick, Tri-City Dental Care, to see if you’re a candidate for a safe, literature reviewed method of teeth whitening!
-Antonio López-Ibarra, DDS
Tri-City Dental Care
[CALL TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT 509.579.0759]