Skip to content
News / November 14, 2017

Charcoal toothpaste benefits yet to be proven

by Guy Hiscott

Researchers were ‘unable to find scientific evidence’ to back up claims made about the benefits of charcoal toothpastes.

A literature review in the US identified 13 studies that focused on the use of charcoal or charcoal-based products for oral hygiene.

‘We were unable to find any convincing body of scientific evidence on any laboratory studies of charcoal and oral benefits,’ said Dr John Brooks, lead author and clinical professor in the Department of Oncology and Diagnostic Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry in Baltimore.

He told ‘It is a well-established fact that charcoal contains various polyaromatic hydrocarbons, some regarded as human carcinogens.

‘Most of these studies involved the possible toxic effects on various tissue sites, without specifying whether there were any pathologic changes with the oral mucosa, leaving this an unresolved issue.’

‘We hope our manuscript serves to prepare dental clinicians to caution patients about the unproven health benefits of charcoal-based toothpastes and dentifrices, as well as raise concerns about the potential safety of use of these products,’ said Dr Brooks.