Well, here we go again with the screwy so-called DIY teeth whitening methods…  I’ve now been asked to comment on the claimed ability to whiten teeth using turmeric of all things.

Turmeric is a plant, and in the same family as ginger.  Like ginger, it is part of the plant’s root that is used in food preparation and anything else you might use it for.

As a teeth whitening scientist for the past 4+ decades, I see no way turmeric could possibly whiten, or even brighten, teeth.  I’ve looked across the internet and researched the actual chemical makeup of turmeric, and though there are many saying turmeric works to whiten teeth, there is no mention of how or why it is claimed to whiten teeth.

This seems to be…again…simply one person making a wild, unsubstantiated, claim on the uncontrolled Internet, with many others simply copying the ridiculous claim.  Even the American Dental Association has publicly stated that turmeric in no way whitens teeth, nor is there any claimed science or even methodology to support any teeth whitening claim.

These same articles found on the internet make claims of significant health benefit to your teeth and gums.  There “may” actually be some mild benefits to your oral health from turmeric.  A very few studies have shown that turmeric “may” have some benefits as “an adjunct” dealing with inflamed gums and other tooth-related problems.  But I say this with caution because studies have used the term “may”, without any certainty of any benefit at all.

Also, these studies have mentioned that any benefit from turmeric would only be “adjunct” benefits, which means it may be a small part of a much more involved method of treating gum or tooth-related problems.  Here’s an analogy:

Let’s say the front porch of your home has some wood rot.  I could say that sandpaper has some benefit in preventing or fixing wood rot. But of course, on the internet, there would be those who run around spouting that using sandpaper on your front porch will entirely prevent or fix the wood rot.

The truth is that yes, sandpaper may be just one of the tools you’d use to either maintain your front porch to prevent the wood rot, or to fix your front porch if it already has wood rot. But you’d also need hammers, nails, saws, measuring tapes, wood boards, paint, and a whole host of other materials, in addition to a skilled carpenter or builder. The sandpaper may just smooth some of the boards during the process.

Turmeric for tooth whitening. Simply false.

Turmeric for other oral health-related topics.  Maybe just a tiny little benefit, combined with lots of other things.

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