ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Use Of Hydrogen Peroxide For Teeth Whitening

Updated on January 4, 2015

First discovered in 1818 and implemented by dentists in 1913, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a highly reactive chemical that can be used for many purposes. While it is widely distributed in drug stores as a simple disinfectant for minor cuts and scrapes, hydrogen peroxide has several other uses as well. In the cosmetics, mining, textiles, paper, and electronic industries, it is employed as a popular bleaching agent. It is also commonly used in commercially available teeth whitening products and can even protect against periodontal disease.

Many of the teeth whitening products that contain hydrogen peroxide are available over the counter. Toothpaste, whitening creams, and white strips all contain a small percentage of the chemical, capitalizing on its oxidizing properties. Pre-made toothpastes often contain up to 10 percent hydrogen peroxide. Though, because they are quickly removed from the teeth, they are only effective at removing surface stains. Products that remain on the teeth for at least ten minutes are much more effective at reaching deeper stains within the enamel.

Dentists may use whitening agents that contain even higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth as well as to treat gingivitis or periodontal disease. Leaving hydrogen peroxide on the teeth for a period of time can help the chemical penetrate deep within the teeth and gums to release oxygen. When oxygen is released, anaerobic bacteria have a more difficult environment in which to thrive, exterminating or dramatically decreasing gingivitis-causing bacteria. This process can also serve to deter other unwelcome mouth-dwellers such as bacteria which can cause bad breath.

Not all oral applications of H2O2 need to be administered by a dental professional. There are several ways to use the chemical at home. A homemade cream of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda can be made and used to whiten and strengthen teeth. Most people will combine the two to make a paste and apply it to the teeth as one would use toothpaste. According to Discovery Health, these homemade creams should be used in moderation to prevent damage to the teeth or gums from overuse. Pastes should not be used more than once daily and used for only three to four weeks at a time. People interested in homemade pastes should discuss the benefits and drawbacks of this method with a dentist or other dental professional.

Though the FDA approves the use of hydrogen peroxide and deems it safe, some side effects may be observed while using the chemical to whiten teeth. Hydrogen peroxide is known as a cytotoxic chemical, which means that it is toxic to cells. Especially when using higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, gum irritation and sensitivity may occur. Tooth enamel and mouth tissue could be affected by overuse of hydrogen peroxide or if the product is left in the mouth for an extended period of time.

One must only watch hydrogen peroxide in action to observe its dynamic nature. In all its effervescent glory, this readily available little powerhouse has been used by professionals and lay people alike to whiten and protect our teeth for nearly a century.

Disclaimer

The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)