Skip to main content
Accessibility  |  Contact  |  Privacy  |  Terms of Service

Hydrogen Peroxide for Teeth Whitening

  • Published: 2009-03-17 (Revised/Updated 2015-01-13) : Author: Disabled World : Contact:
  • Synopsis: Hydrogen Peroxide in the right dilution is a cheap and easy to use whitener for teeth.

Main Document

"Hydrogen peroxide and Carbamide peroxide should not be confused as they are very different from each other."

Hydrogen peroxide is a key ingredient in most of the home teeth whitening kits that are available on the market today. Home use hydrogen peroxide, in the right dilution, is a cheap and easy way to obtain white teeth.

It may seem strange that such a harsh chemical compound could be used safely in a person's mouth, however the teeth bleaching kits that you can buy for home use actually have a very diluted concentration of hydrogen peroxide that is much gentler on your gums, and will not damage the interior of your mouth. Other tooth whitening kits use a compound called carbamide peroxide that breaks down into hydrogen peroxide as it makes contact with your mouth.

Hydrogen Peroxide is a highly reactive chemical made of hydrogen and oxygen.

This chemical is widely used to bleach paper and textile, and is used as a disinfectant in the medical field and in the household and is also the main ingredient used to whiten your teeth. Normal concentrations are around 3% and can go as high as 10%. In general, the more peroxide, the greater the whitening power.

Hydrogen peroxide can be got in almost nearly every drug store for around a $1.

It was originally marketed as a paint remover but in the last decade it has found itself in the dental arena as a means of whitening teeth cheaply, in response to the absurd prices charged by dental practices.

The majority of these teeth whiteners are applied to the teeth by filling up teeth trays with a whitening gel and then fitting these teeth trays over the teeth and leaving them for a specified amount of time while the hydrogen peroxide-based gel works.

The Side Effects

Although teeth whitening peroxide has been declared safe by the FDA, there are still some risk of side effects. They're not particularly dangerous, but things such as mild tooth sensitivity and gum pain are not uncommon. Discontinuing the treatments usually causes the discomfort to go away. Throat soreness is another, less typical side effect. This can be minimized by not swallowing any of the peroxide and not keeping it in your mouth for longer than recommended.

As is the case with most things, excess use of teeth whitening peroxide can be harmful to your teeth.

Overuse can cause damage to teeth enamel and the tissue inside your mouth. As a general rule limit peroxide use to daily treatments for only a couple weeks at a time or a couple times a week for a month or two. It's very important that you avoid overuse.

Because Hydrogen peroxide is such a highly reactive chemical the two most common side effects are mouth and gum irritation plus increased tooth sensitivity to temperature changes, however both effects are temporary. Hydrogen peroxide works so well because it can easily pass through your teeth enamel and begin interacting with the dentine and pulp part of your tooth. Studies have shown that this does not harm or effect the enamel part of your tooth and is considered safe by the ADA.

It is important never to swallow hydrogen peroxide as it can react badly with the natural acids, like vitamin k, in your stomach, that digest your food properly. And if you have cuts in your mouth, than in no circumstances use it, as it will ''eat'' into your gum tissue like methylated spirits.

Carbamide Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide and Carbamide peroxide should not be confused as they are very different from each other. Hydrogen is a much faster reacting chemical and has a very short shelf life. When mixed with oxygen and saliva, hydrogen peroxide breaks down very quickly leading to shorted teeth whitening sessions. Carbamide Peroxide was invented to slow down the process of decomposition so that the peroxide would last longer and provide teeth whitening greater effects, as well as have a longer shelf life.

What It Doesn't Effect

Hydrogen Peroxide cannot change the color of fillings, porcelain teeth, ceramic teeth, gold teeth or other restorative materials because the hydrogen cannot penetrate the surface layers of these materials. However it can effect more porous dental work such as cements, and dental amalgams.

Similar Topics

1 : EPA Rejects Anti-Fluoridation Group's Request : American Dental Association (ADA).
2 : Dental Work: When to Use Antibiotic Prophylaxis : Pennsylvania Dental Association.
3 : Dental Care for Baby Teeth is Very Important : Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine in Cleveland.
4 : Strawberries and Baking Soda not the Answer for Teeth Whitening : University of Iowa.
5 : Free Dental for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder : Nova Southeastern University.
From our Dental and Teeth section - Full List (69 Items)

Submit disability news, coming events, as well as assistive technology product news and reviews.

Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.

Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.

List of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.

Blood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be, and information on blood group types/compatibility.

1 : Registration now open for Turnstone Endeavor Games - April 20-22, 2018
2 : PyeongChang 2018 Paralympics: Day Eight Highlights
3 : PyeongChang 2018 Paralympics: Day Seven Highlights
4 : PyeongChang 2018 Paralympics: Day Six Highlights
5 : The Difference in Hospital Meals Around The World


Disclaimer: This site does not employ and is not overseen by medical professionals. Content on Disabled World is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. See our Terms of Service for more information.

Reporting Errors: Disabled World is an independent website, your assistance in reporting outdated or inaccurate information is appreciated. If you find an error please let us know.