The IMB has issued a warning to Irish Consumers regarding the use of Tooth Whitening Products which contain excessive amounts of Hydrogen Peroxide. Tooth Whiteners contain Hydrogen Peroxide an ingredient which has whitening properties. Hydrogen peroxide whitens teeth by passing into the teeth and reacting with the molecules that cause stains or discolouration.
A common adverse effect of tooth bleaching is dental hypersensitivity. Hydrogen Peroxide is taken up into Dental Pulp causing minor inflammation leading to pain. Particular care in using tooth whitening products should be taken by people with gum disease or defective fillings and crowns. Due to the increasing risks of acute and long term adverse effects tooth whitening products containing more than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide are not permitted for use without dental supervision.
A clinical examination by a Dentist prior to using tooth whitening products will ensure the absence of any pre-existing oral tissue injury which may exacerbate the possible toxic effects of hydrogen peroxide. It is also recommended that users consult with their Dentists prior to using the lower strength tooth whitening kits to ensure the absence of pre-existing injury.
Speaking today about the risk associated with the use of hydrogen peroxide Liam Moloney, Health Care Solicitor said “consumers should always check the level of hydrogen peroxide in tooth whitening products with their retailer or pharmacist prior to purchasing. Consumers undergoing professional tooth whitening procedures, which involve the use of products containing more than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide should ensure that this is carried out by a Dentist or under their supervision”
Mr Moloney added “tooth whitening procedures carried out by unregulated Beauty Salons or Clinics should not involve the use of products containing greater than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide. Consumers should also be extremely careful about buying these products over the internet and should always check the ingredients for the presence of hydrogen peroxide or a substance that releases it. Care should be taken to see if there are warnings or precautions listed on the label including the level of hydrogen peroxide present to avoid injury”.