Dangers of Bleaching Teeth
Problems, Health Risks, Dangerous?

Doc Hemp's Philosophy

In my opinion ... And I am not (but almost) the Lone Ranger in this .... All bleaching is potentially dangerous, especially since it is unnecessary. It is for cosmetic purposes only! Is it worth trading short time satisfaction for eventual bluishly over whitened translucent decalcified teeth and possible future bodily harm in the form of accelerated aging and cancer, etc?

Bleach is the strongest oxidant in the world! ... all the up to 65% bleaches used, break down by 50% into 32.5% H2O2 ...which is the active bleaching agent.
We all go to great lengths to take antioxidants to slow the ravages of (free radicals and O2 bearing radicals in our body and blood stream such as H2O2) ... DNA break down, aging and cancer! ...
In my opinion there is no way to keep bleach from saturating one's saliva and being absorbed under the tongue directly into the blood stream and swallowed and absorbed into our digestive system possibly pouring countless O2 bearing radicals into our system body wide accelerating aging and DNA breakdown which is the main cause of mutations and cancer in our bodies!! ...

A. F. Junod1
(1) Respiratory Division, H˘pital cantonal universitaire, Geneva, Switzerland

"Abstract Some of the metabolites resulting from the monovalent reduction of O2, superoxide anion and hydroxyl radical, are O2 radicals, whereas H2O2, which is not a radical since having no unpaired electron, is also an active O2 intermediate. These O2 metabolites are formed intracellularly as a result of normal metabolism. Their production can increase following exposure to high O2 concentration, radiations or certain drugs. An increased amount of extracellular O2 metabolites occurs after activation of certain inflammatory cells or during the course of the hypoxanthine-xanthine oxidase reaction. To counteract this oxidative stress, antioxidant defenses exist, whether enzymatic (superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, catalase, etc.) or nonenzymatic (GSH, vitamin E and C, etc.). Oxidative injury can result from an imbalance between oxidative stress and the defense mechanisms. The main targets are protein, DNA and lipids. The cellular response of the lung is stereotyped and involves cell injury (especially endothelial c cells and type I pneumocytes), inflammatory reaction and repair processes".

I do have a right to my conservative opinion on bleaching .. If I am wrong ... At least no one will have ever been hurt physically by my position on this ... and if the years prove me right we may have saved a lot of our patients some grief in the future.

Bleaching is not permanent anyway ... teeth regress eventually to worse than what one started with if bleaching is stopped totally because the bleach makes our enamel more porous .. thus a cycle of bleaching and more porosity and tooth damage ..,... possibly more and more free radicals and DNA breakdown ....
Even the bleach advocate sites say one must drink ALL staining liquids (coffee, tea, etc.) thru a straw to prevent dramatic accelerated relapse stainning.

I am already seeing an increase in non vital teeth associated with heavily bleached teeth and I also predict that in 10 - 30 years we may see an increase in oral and other cancers just as we have with Melanoma since the 50's with all the sun burns with blistering and peeling.

We recommend NO BLEACHING AT ALL! .. And I used to recommend for those that must to use one series of the Crest or Rembrant Strips and keep them off the tissue .. There is even Bleeding gums with Crest Strips if they are allowed to touch the gums for any extended length of time. But with strips one can at least bleach only what shows instead of flooding the whole mouth with gels .. There should be no discomfort, and one can somewhat maintain the lightening with 1.5% H2O2 ... dilute the 3% 50% and rinse for a few seconds daily. There are even others that think that anything over .1% H2O2 may be too much.

Bleaching has been around in some form for about 50 yrs and was used mainly on blackened non vital teeth, but not to the ridiculous frenzy of abuse now seen. Also ... laser bleaching in the office is more to impress the patient and get higher fees as the same gel without the light apparently does the same thing as per Gordon Christenesen's clinical research. On the other hand he is not against bleaching in general like some of us are. Here is his quote from his website "The use of a light to aid the bleaching process may be impressive to patients. However, the action of light in accelerating or enhancing bleaching is still under investigation. Regardless of which technique is used, the various bleaching techniques produce the same result when used properly."

Also ... When there is throbbing in the teeth for several days usually after any heavy bleaching it means the bleach penetrated into exposed dentin or through a crack in the enamel to aggravate the pulp and could start a process known as pulpal stenosis .. a narrowing of the pulp chamber and the canal often leading to root canals as much as 10 - 15 yrs later just as a traumatic event does! I have been around a long time and like I already said we are seeing this happening already in our office.

We also do not recommend porcelain or chair side veneers on teeth that are not malformed, quite dark, over spaced or well below the natural lightest lumins shade of B1. And for crooked teeth we always recommend orthodontics of some sort ... Invisiline if the railroad tracks are objectionable, etc. and document such on our charts if the patient refuses and chooses the quick way with veneers.

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    .1% is the maximum allowable Hydrogen Peroxide content?
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