Three new studies have found that hydrogen peroxide, even when it occurs in over-the-counter whitening strip concentrations, can cause harm to collagen and non-collagen proteins.
In contrast to most studies of whitening strips which concentrate on the effect they have on tooth enamel, these studies took dentin as their focus, trying to determine exactly what the hydrogen peroxide was doing to the collagen which makes up most of the proteins in the dentin.
“We sought to further characterize what the hydrogen peroxide was doing to collagen,” said Dr. Kelly A. Keenan, Associate Professor of Chemistry and of Biochemistry/Molecular Biology at Stockton University School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. “We used entire teeth for the studies and focused on the impact hydrogen peroxide has on the proteins.”
The results indicate that the hydrogen peroxide has a deleterious effect on the proteins, effectively causing them to disappear, the result of the proteins being turned smaller, fragmented pieces.
The studies did not however test whether this damage could be reversed, so it’s not known at this stage if the harm caused is permanent.
The next step for researchers is to determine if the same damage is occurring to other proteins in the teeth.
For the full article and links to the relevant abstracts, go to Dental Tribune