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Experts warn against charcoal-based toothpaste

By Mirror | May 15th 2019 | 2 min read

Trendy charcoal toothpaste touted as healthy may actually cause tooth decay and even cancer, a new study found.

Charcoal-based toothpaste and powders are promoted with claims they can remove stains, whiten teeth, are non-abrasive, anti-bacterial and even had the ability to strengthen teeth.

Manufacturers also maintained their products are "clinically proven," approved by dentists, and most are advertised to appeal to "woke" consumer with claims they are 100 percent natural, vegan, eco-friendly, and cruelty-free.

But the review commissioned by the British Dental Bleaching Society, described the marketing over-reliant on gimmicks and 'folklore' to substantiate their claims.

It warned the products could cause tooth abrasions and the charcoal can, in fact, inactivate the fluoride contained in a minority of toothpaste, which fights tooth decay.

It questions the claims to whiten teeth and remove plaque, bacteria and stained material.

The review looked at the product information of the 50 charcoal toothpaste and found only eight percent contained fluoride.

More than half claimed to have therapeutic benefits and 96 per cent claimed to have tooth whitening capabilities.

Three in ten (30%) claimed the toothpaste aided remineralisation, strengthening or fortification of the teeth, just over a quarter (28%) that it was low abrasiveness, nearly half it had a capacity for detoxification (46%) or antibacterial or antiseptic properties (44%), and an eighth (12%) it possessed antifungal benefits.

Regarding whitening capabilities, experts regarded the high absorbency of charcoal to contain insufficient availability of any free radical bleaching agent capable of chemically reducing intrinsic staining present in enamel and bony tissue.

It also found there could be health risks due to the possible inclusion of human carcinogenic polyaromatic hydrocarbons in charcoal - a group of chemicals that occur naturally in coal, crude oil, and gasoline.

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