Black Charcoal Toothpaste
This toothpaste has rapidly emerged over the internet marketplace and we have had many patients question the viability of this product and several that have been using or have tried it. I was not aware of any research on Black Charcoal Toothpaste until I ran into an article that discusses 13 studies on the use of charcoal and charcoal-based products. The article found that the creators of the black toothpaste claim a lot of properties as a form of advertisement; antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, repairing cavities, whitening and oral detoxification.
In regards to cavity prevention the comments were that the teeth where clean but displayed concave cavities in the dentine on the surface towards the cheeks, which means that the charcoal has very abrasive properties. The lack of fluoride in the Charcoal Toothpaste also influences the rate of cavities.
The studies failed to identify scientific support that the topical application of charcoal can provide any detoxification benefits to the teeth or the oral mucosa.
For the antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties there is no evidence in literature to support these claims.
About the whitening, the producers claim that the content bentonite clay gently polishes and scrubs teeth and acts as a sponge and that bacteria are drawn into the sponge. This is not the case; the researchers say that charcoal is an abrasive mineral and raises concerns about damage to the teeth and the potential loss of enamel would increase caries susceptibility.
Overall there was insufficient scientific evidence to demonstrate the cosmetic, health, or safety benefits of Charcoal Toothpaste.
However, in our practice we have seen reduced staining among our patients brushing with charcoal toothpaste, and that would be the only benefit for now.