In a new study, researchers found the use of teeth whitening products may harm the protein-rich tooth layer.
The finding suggests that people should use teeth whitening products more carefully and pay attention to their tooth health when using the products.
The research was conducted by a team from Stockton University in New Jersey.
Americans spend more than a billion dollars on teeth whitening products each year. However, these products might cause tooth damage.
Previous research has shown that the tooth is made of three layers. The outer tooth enamel is an underlying dentin layer and connective tissue that binds the roots to the gum.
But this layer contains very little protein.
In three new studies, the researchers focused on dentin, which is beneath the tooth’s protective enamel and full of collagen.
It makes up most of the tooth and has high levels of protein.
The team found that an active ingredient in over-the-counter whitening products called hydrogen peroxide could damage the protein-rich dentin tissue.
In the experiments, they used entire teeth for their studies and showed that the major protein in the dentin is converted to smaller fragments when treated with hydrogen peroxide in whitening products.
The finding suggests that whitening strips could make the original collagen protein disappear.
But it is still unknown whether collagen and other proteins in the teeth can be regenerated. Future work will focus on that.
The team plans to find more details about how the protein fragments released when collagen is treated with hydrogen peroxide.
They want to know if hydrogen peroxide has the same impact on other proteins in the teeth.
The leader of the study is Kelly Keenan, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry at Stockton University.
The study is published in the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual meeting during the 2019 Experimental Biology meeting.
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