A dazzling white smile of perfect teeth seems to be the accessory du jour for celebrities and digital influencers around the globe. Ads for fancy at-home whitening kits are spruiked on social media by the likes of the Kardashians, and whitening strips a sold in bulk on most chemist shelves.
However, a new study that was presented to the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the 2019 Experimental Biology meeting in Orlando, Florida this year has found that whitening your teeth may be doing more harm than good.
In fact, the findings are supported by three new studies which found that hydrogen peroxide – the active ingredient in over-the-counter whitening strips – can damage the dentin tissue found beneath the tooth’s protective enamel.
The research was conducted by undergraduates working in the laboratory of associate professor of chemistry at Stockton University, Kelly Keenan, in New Jersey.
Teeth are made up of three layers: outer enamel, dentin layer and connective tissue that binds the tooth to the gum. The dentin layer makes up most of the tooth and contain protein and collagen. Hydrogen peroxide, like that used in whitening strips, actually damages the proteins and collagen in the dentin layer, damaging the tooth overall.
Unfortunately, the research doesn’t yet know if the damage is permanent or reversible, but it certainly makes you think twice about trying the latest whitening product, doesn’t it?
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