Charcoal toothpastes 'could be causing lasting damage'
Charcoal-based toothpastes may be one of the trendiest dental products around, but new research suggests they may increase the risk of abrasions, contribute to tooth decay and actually fail to whiten teeth.
According to a new review published in the 'British Dental Journal', those tempted by such products should approach them with caution because many of them don't contain fluoride, which is crucial for fighting tooth decay.
The review examined 50 charcoal toothpastes and found that just 8pc of them actually contained fluoride.
The review also found that even among the products that do contain the substance, their effectiveness might be rendered obsolete because charcoal can actually inactivate fluoride.
Among those tested, more than 50pc claimed to have therapeutic benefits while 30pc claimed to strengthen or fortify teeth.
Other claims identified in the review included detoxification (46pc), antibacterial or antiseptic properties (44pc) and antifungal benefits (12pc).
But experts behind the review say that none of these claims has been proven.
Nearly all of the toothpastes (96pc) also claimed to have teeth-whitening properties, but the review states that charcoal-based pastes or powders contain an insufficient amount of free radical bleaching agent for them to have any whitening or stain-removing effect. The review also identified a number of potential health risks with charcoal-based toothpastes due to the possible inclusion of carcinogenic polyaromatic hydrocarbon in charcoal, the group of chemicals that naturally occur in coal, crude oil and gasoline.
Consumers have been urged to check the ingredients of charcoal-based toothpastes.
Independent News Service