Research suggests teeth-whitening strips may be harmful

Ingredient in whitening strips is harmful to deep layer of teeth, research says

Ingredient in whitening strips is harmful to deep layer of teeth, research says

Human teeth is made up of three layers - the outer tooth enamel, an underlying dentin layer and connective tissue that binds the roots to the gum.

Essentially, all whitening products in the United States contain hydrogen peroxide and/or carbamide peroxide, according to the American Dental Association. And in fact, previous research by Keenan's team found that collagen in the dentin layer was effected when teeth were treated with whitening strips.

Most studies of whitening strips have focused on the tooth enamel, but the new research looked at what happened to dentin in teeth exposed to hydrogen peroxide.

The findings were presented during the 2019 Experimental Biology meeting held in Orlando, Florida.

Over-the-counter teeth-whitening strips may actually be doing more harm than good.

Unlike most studies which have focused on tooth enamel, the new study focused on dentin, which makes up most of the tooth and has high levels of protein - most of which is collagen.

Further, they plan to characterize the protein fragments released when collagen is treated with hydrogen peroxide and determine if hydrogen peroxide has the same impact on other proteins in the teeth.

However, the researchers did not say whether or not the possible tooth damage is permanent.

What they found was that the collagen in the dentin is broken into smaller fragments when treated with hydrogen peroxide. They also subjected pure collagen to hydrogen peroxide and examined the protein with lab techniques that gave them a clearer picture of what was happening.

"Our results show that treatment with hydrogen peroxide concentrations similar to those found in whitening strips is enough to make the original collagen protein disappear", Keenan said.