Whitening teeth has been accessible over the past few years without having to undergo multiple sessions on a dental clinic.
Now, one can just go over the counter and buy tooth whitening products sans prescription from a dentist. It’s as easy as buying hair color or an energy drink.
However, a study showed that tooth whitening products can actually damage the teeth.
According to a report, whitening with bleaching products, particularly the most prominent product in this age, whitening strips, that contain hydrogen peroxide can cause risk to tooth health.
Researchers working in the laboratory of Kelly Keenan, PhD, associate professor of chemistry at Stockton University in New Jersey, found out that hydrogen peroxide “can damage the protein-rich dentin tissue found beneath the tooth’s protective enamel.”
The researchers established that hydrogen peroxide can penetrate the enamel and dentin, which is two of the three layers of a tooth. Another layer of the tooth is a connective tissue that binds the roots to the gum.
Dentin tissue of a tooth, the researchers said, has high levels of protein (most of it is collagen) and it makes up most of the tooth.
The study, which was presented at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual meeting during the 2019 Experimental Biology meeting last April 6 to 9 in Orlando, Florida, showed that collagen in the dentin decreased when teeth are treated with whitening strips.
“Our results showed that treatment with hydrogen peroxide concentrations similar to those found in whitening strips is enough to make the original collagen protein disappear, which is presumably due to the formation of many smaller fragments,” Keenan said in a report.
However, the researchers have yet to establish whether the damage is permanent or if the collagen and other proteins present on the teeth can be regenerated.