Charcoal Toothpastes Doing More Harm than Good?

May 18th, 2019

Trending now: Charcoal toothpaste! In the past few years, you may have seen celebrities, advertisements, and Youtube videos along with other social media posts raving about using charcoal to brighten teeth. But, these notions may just be a marketing act. In fact, contrary to the advertisements, charcoal toothpastes may not be the solution for obtaining pearly whites and can also add potential risks to your oral health.

Besides just showing up in foods, beauty products, or in art pencils, toothpastes can be made with the ingredient charcoal too. As it turns out, the history of charcoal for tooth cleaning dates way back to Ancient Greek history! Activated charcoal is made by heating regular charcoal with a special gas, making it more porous. As a result, it can absorb toxins and be used medically to treat accidental poisonings. In addition, past research published in the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) claimed its ability for whitening, combating bad breath, and having anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties. However, the researchers stated that more evidence is needed to ensure the safety and effectiveness of charcoal toothpastes. It is also necessary to consult with a Doctor before using charcoal toothpaste because it may interfere with certain medications being consumed.

According to a review in the British Dental Journal published in May 2019,  activated charcoal may actually contribute to tooth decay and staining rather than preventing it. Based off knowledge presented in a 2017 literature review, researchers found that there is not enough evidence support the safety or efficacy of anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, or anti-viral properties, or tooth whitening claims. Further, most of the marketed charcoal toothpastes do not contain fluoride like other regular toothpastes. Toothpastes containing fluoride help remineralize teeth making tooth enamel stronger, and help prevent tooth decay. Activated charcoal’s absorptive properties could even be inactivating your fluoride intake from other sources. Most importantly, it is also highly abrasive, which despite removing stains could damage the gums and wear down tooth enamel during the process. This can lead to greater risk of developing tooth decay and tooth sensitivity. Another thing to consider is that charcoal toothpaste does not contain the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance.

Overall, toothpastes containing fluoride are the best option for keeping a healthy smile. It is best to consult a dentist about whitening products and services to ensure the safety and optimal treatment for your smile. 

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. DerekDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Stephens would be more than willing to help.







The Power of Milk

January 16th, 2016

A classic food pairing is cookies and milk, but have you ever stopped to wonder why? Sure, this combination is delicious. But did you know that according to researchers in The Journal of the American Dental Association, a glass of milk after eating sweets could keep tooth decay away?

However, it's not enough to just drink milk. It's important to drink milk after eating those sweets. The researchers also stated that the order that we eat sugary and non-sugary foods has a great impact on our oral health. This is due to the fact that consuming sweets causes the bacteria in the plaque on teeth to produce acids which can result in decay.

A study conducted at the University of Illinois at Chicago's School of Dentistry tested the effects of drinking milk, apple juice, and water after eating sugary cereal on the acidity of dental plaque. The results demonstrated that plaque acid levels decreased the most when participants drank milk after eating the cereal. Water was the second most efficient at lowering plaque acid levels, followed by cereal alone and apple juice. Therefore, if you are lactose intolerant, make sure to drink water after consuming sweets.

Milk is not only beneficial for our health. Did you know that the mutations that make us tolerant of milk are among those that are under the strongest selection in the human genome? The continued production of lactase, an intestinal enzyme needed during infancy to help digest lactose milk sugar, results from these mutations, which are prevalent in some parts of the world such as Northern Europe. However, most other populations cannot properly digest lactose, which often leads to diarrhea and other symptoms that are caused by the production of gases by the fermentation of gut bacteria. Furthermore, milk sugars can be easily removed from foods and the mutations are only needed for raw milk or whey.

It's a wonder why these mutations have lasted. Therefore, there have been many attempts to understand the reason behind their persistence by studying where and when humans used milk. Archaeologists have found evidence for the prevalence of females in animal herds and the presence of milk lipids on pots. In addition, international researchers at the Universities of York, Oklahoma, and Copenhagen, and University College London (UCL) studied ancient human calcified dental plaque. This team detected traces of beta-lactoglobulin, a dominant milk protein often used to build muscle mass, in ancient samples.

This new evidence proves that humans have consumed cattle, sheep, and goat whey since at least 5,000 years ago, which supports the fact that archaeologists have found milk fats on pottery and utensils from ancient farmers. The researchers even found proof of milk from the Bronze Age (c. 3150 BCE)!

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. The caring team at Wellesley Dental Group will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.






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