Teeth whitening products can damage your teeth

img AD Ratings imgApril 16, 2019




Latest studies show that an active ingredient in teeth whitening products can damage the protein-rich dentin tissue present beneath your tooth’s protective enamel.

The research is cause for concern because the teeth-whitening products industry in the US is worth a whopping billion dollars. While the products brighten smiles, they also cause tooth damage.

In three studies, it was found that hydrogen peroxide, the active ingredient in commercially available whitening strips, harmed the protein-rich dentin tissue present beneath the tooth’s protective enamel.

Research undergraduates in the laboratory of Kelly Keenan, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry at Stockton University, New Jersey, presented the findings of the research at the annual American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology meeting on Experimental Biology held in Orlando in early April 2019.

How The Whitening Products Cause Tissue Damage

Your tooth comprises of three layers: outer tooth enamel, the underlying dentin layer, and connective tissue that rivets the roots to your gum.

Now the difference between the latest research and earlier studies is that as against studying the effect of whitening strips on tooth enamel, which has little protein—Kennan’s research team focused on dentin, which is most of the tooth and contains a high level of protein, mostly collagen.

Results of previous research showed that the level of collagen in the dentin layer went down after teeth were exposed to whitening strips. The reduction in collagen was because hydrogen peroxide is known to penetrate the dentin and enamel.

Researchers showed that the primary protein found in the dentin changes to smaller fragments when it is treated with hydrogen peroxide. Pure collagen was also treated with hydrogen peroxide. The protein was analyzed through a gel electrophoresis laboratory technique, which enabled the protein to be visualized.

Keenan said that results indicated that when hydrogen peroxide was used in amounts similar to those found in whitening strips, it resulted in the disappearance of the original collagen protein: probably due to the creation of numerous smaller fragments.

Is the Damage Due To Teeth Whitening Products Permanent?

The research could not converge on finding whether collagen and other teeth proteins can be regenerated. Therefore, it could not be concluded if the tooth damage due to teeth whitening products is long-lasting.

However, researchers plan to conduct further research in identifying the protein fragments released when teeth collagen is exposed to hydrogen peroxide and see if it has a similar effect on other proteins in the teeth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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