Benefits & Risks of Activated Charcoal to Whiten Teeth (Doctor’s Advice)

Hi, . Im a periodontist in South field Michigan, and I want to talk a little bittoday about Apperantly this rage with charcoal toothpaste, or charcoal powder in your toothpaste to whiten your teeth.

Number one, it’s not regular charcoal, it’s activated charcoal which means it’s been processed differently so that it has more actual activity than regular charcoal. It’s used in water filters.

It may have some other cosmetic applications and now people are begining to use it to whiten their teeth and brighten their smile. The charcoal comes in different forms as faras using it as a toothpaste. You can actually get it as a toothpaste. You can get it as a powder that you add ormix in with your regular toothpaste.

You can also get it in capsules that you openup and put in with your toothpaste, or you can just get it and not even use regular toothpaste,you just dip it in the charcoal powder and use it that way. And heres a really neat one, they have charcoal toothbrushes.

So you may not even need toothpaste or charcoalpowder, just use one of the charcoal toothbrushes. But does it when your teeth? Well, probably it does whiten the teeth, butif it whitens the teeth and if it whitens the teeth very significantly that means itcould be abrasive, and it could possibly be very abrasive.

We don’t really know because no long term studies have been used. If it’s abrasive and you use it regularly,that means it’s likely to thin out the enamel causing the tooth to become thinner. If it becomes thinner it can fracture it canchip. As it thins it becomes translucent so it mayaffect the appearance of the tooth. We don’t really know.

It can cause notching or sort of ditchingor cutting in the roots of the teeth if its very abrasive. I’ve seen that in other situations with abrasivetoothpastes.

Since I’m a periodontist people have askedme, well how does it affect the gum tissue? From what I’ve heard it may cause some irritationof the gum again if it’s abrasive it may cause irritation of the tissue, it may cause reddeningof the gum tissue, and by the way if the gum tissue gets a little redder it may make theteeth look a little whiter because in contrast to the normal pink tissue if It’s redder theteeth may just look whiter.

But let’s talk about the whitening of theteeth because everybody thinks hey you want white teeth, I’ll use this product to makemy teeth white.

So maybe it does whiten the teeth, that couldbe, but if you have crowns or veneers or fillings in the teeth that are made to match the shadeof the tooth, when you whiten the tooth, you’re not going to whiten the fillings or the crownsor the veneers they’re going to stay the same color.

So, if everything looks like it’s an evennice color now, then you start whitening the teeth and it successfully whitens them, butit doesn’t whiten the fillings or the crowns or the veneers in the teeth, you may lookworse because you may have some teeth that are whiter and some teeth that are not whiter,parts of the tooth that are whiter and parts of the tooth that are not whiter.

You have to be really extra careful and thoughtfulbefore you do something to whiten the teeth. So, these are sort of important things tonote, and again we don’t really have long term studies to know what activated charcoalwill do in you mouth.

It may be great it may be beneficial, andit may really not be. I mean there could be long term effects thatwe just don’t know about. I mean the FDA spends lots of time clearingdrugs and certain kinds of toothpastes.

This certainly hasn’t been cleared or approved by the FDA in any way that I know of. If one is going to use a charcoal powder ora charcoal toothpaste I think probably using it occasionally might be okay. To use it on a daily basis it would scareme I would really be concerned about it because we don’t know the long term effects.

If it does affect the gum tissue, it couldcause that gum tissue to recede or to thin out particularly if it’s abrasive. So, by the way I just want to talk about toothpastein general, this is really, really interesting. Almost all toothpastes are somewhat abrasive,some more than others.

There was a study done, fairly recently, indicatingthat if you don’t use toothpaste, you’re not going to get the notching and the erosionat the gum-line that frequently occurs with vigorous frequent brushing because the abrasivenessin the toothpaste will actually work as sort of like a long term sandpaper and actuallycut into the tooth.

So, if you don’t use any toothpaste at allyou will avoid that notching or erosion just a good brush, brushing thoroughly will removeplaque, stimulate the tissue and you don’t have to worry about abrasivenessand consequences from that. Just be careful with it, I know people aretalking about it.

How well it works, we don’t really know, Idon’t really know because long term studies haven’t been done and especially if you haveother restorations in your teeth now you’ve got to watch out because there could be acolor disparity one you start whitening them.

So, be careful with the new charcoal rage. At any rate, make sure your mouth is healthy,that’s the most important thing. You have a Healthy Mouth you’re going to havea Healthier Body, I guarantee it. Have a great day! Take care.

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