Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Home tooth bleaching slightly reduces enamel strength

16.04.2009
New research shows that human teeth lost some enamel hardness after the application of several different products used in the home to whiten teeth. The study suggests that future generations of such products might be reformulated in an effort to reduce these side effects.

The researchers noted that teeth typically can restore their previous hardness after losing small amounts of enamel calcification. But this is the first study to show at a nanometer scale – measuring in billionths of a meter – how human teeth are affected by the popular home whiteners.

“There is some significant reduction in nano-hardness of enamel, but we are talking on a very minute scale. So even though it may not be visible to the human eye, it’s important for research because that’s how we improve products,” said Shereen Azer, assistant professor of restorative and prosthetic dentistry at Ohio State University and lead author of the study.

Azer and colleagues applied the recommended treatments of five name-brand home whiteners to samples of human teeth and compared the effects to tooth samples that received no treatment. In all cases, the products reduced the hardness of the enamel as well as what is called the elastic modulus or stiffness, a measure of the ability of the tooth surface to bounce back in response to applied force.

Many studies have sought to determine how tooth whitening affects tooth enamel hardness, but results have been inconclusive. Azer said that previous studies measured the loss of enamel hardness in microns, or millionths of a meter, rather than on the nanometer scale used in his study.

“So this just gives us a better understanding of precisely how these products affect human teeth,” he said.

The research is published in a recent issue of the Journal of Dentistry.

Tooth bleaching products contain solutions of various strengths of either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, which provide the whitening effect. They bleach teeth by producing unstable free radicals that attack pigment molecules in the organic parts of enamel. The reduction in pigment means the molecules no longer reflect light, so the teeth appear whiter.

Enamel, which is almost entirely inorganic and translucent, appears yellow in most teeth because it reflects the color of the dentin underneath, which is naturally yellow.

“Especially nowadays, people tend to see beauty in white teeth,” Azer said. “And bleaching does have a beautiful effect, but not without side effects.”

The study did not test for two other common side effects of tooth whitening, gum irritation and tooth sensitivity. Azer said these side effects have been addressed by other products, such as toothpastes and treatment gels designed to lessen sensitivity and irritation.

He and colleagues used extracted molars to assemble 65 human tooth samples measuring 4 millimeters square and 2 millimeters deep for the study. Ten samples were used in a pilot study that determined they could achieve accurate results for the research under dry conditions rather than wet conditions simulating the presence of saliva.

Of the remaining samples, five were left untreated, and 50 were divided into five groups of 10 each to undergo treatment.

The researchers used whitening strips on two groups of samples and trays filled with whitening gel on three groups. The treatment times included up to 60 minutes once per day or 60 minutes twice per day according to manufacturer recommendations. All treatments lasted for three weeks except for one tray method, which lasted 10 days.

The treatments included both over-the-counter and professionally provided products to be used in the home.

The scientists used a specialized tool to apply force to test the enamel hardness and stiffness (the surface ability to bounce back), and an atomic force microscope to observe the tiny nanometer-scale effects on the teeth.

The average loss of enamel ranged from 1.2 to 2 nanometers on the treated teeth. The control teeth, on average, actually gained 0.4 nanometers of hardness in comparison over the treatment time frame. The surface ability to bounce back from applied force was reduced by an average of between 6 percent and 18.8 percent among the treated teeth, depending on the type of treatment.

Among the different products, most of the reductions in hardness and elastic modulus were similar. However, there was a significant difference between one strip treatment method and one tray method, with the tray method reducing enamel hardness more dramatically than the strip treatment.

Enamel is the hardest structure in the human body. It protects teeth and maintains the integrity of the bite. But enamel is subject to abrasion by certain products and even too-vigorous brushing, which is why it is important to figure out ways to reduce damage to this part of the tooth, Azer said.

“In the case of these products, manufacturers might be able to alter the concentrations of the materials and the vehicles used to apply the bleach,” he said.

The study did not address how to restore hardness to bleached teeth, but Azer noted that extensive research has indicated that fluoride treatments, including the use of fluoride toothpaste, can promote enamel remineralization.

The products used in the study were Crest Whitestrips Premium Plus, Crest Whitestrips Supreme, Nite White ACP, Oral B Rembrandt and Treswhite Opalescence. The final three are tray treatments.

Azer conducted the research with Camilo Machado and Robert Rashid of the Division of Restorative and Prosthetic Dentistry and Eliana Sanchez of the Division of Primary Care, all in Ohio State’s College of Dentistry.

Contact: Shereen Azer, (614) 292-7467; Azer.1@osu.edu
Written by Emily Caldwell, (614) 292-8310; Caldwell.151@osu.edu

Shereen Azer | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.osu.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology
07.12.2016 | Nanyang Technological University

nachricht How to turn white fat brown
07.12.2016 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling

07.12.2016 | Life Sciences

How to turn white fat brown

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>