Teeth whitening tools and its effects on teeth and gum health
Project by Polygence alum Boa
Summary of chemistry's role in teeth whitening and emphasis on need for further research.
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Dental aesthetics is a rising topic of interest, one especially popular procedure is teeth whitening. Whitening products both in-office and over-the-counter were first introduced to the US in the late 1980s when the demand for whiter teeth arose. The most commonly known ingredients are hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide used as bleaching reagents. Though these ingredients have whitening effects, they could potentially irritate the gums and surrounding tissue and cause sensitive teeth. The goal of this review paper is to compare the chemicals involved in various teeth whitening treatments by researching in vivo and in vitro studies that assess the efficacy and safety of these approaches. In-office treatments are the most effective yet have the highest concentration of hydrogen peroxide making it have increased safety concerns. However, other methods such as over-the-counter products, which have a lower concentration of hydrogen peroxide, or natural remedies, are less effective. As a result, further research must be conducted to create a safer treatment that creates minimal damage to teeth and gums, and there is a need to improve public awareness of the side effects of whitening products.