Most tooth-whitening products employ hydrogen peroxide to bleach your smile into a brighter state. Highly oxidizing and unstable, hydrogen peroxide is not without its side effects; but while most are mild and reversible, researchers have set out to either prove or disprove its carcinogenicity.
In a 2006 edition of the Journal of Esthetic and Restorative Dentistry, a comprehensive review of literature and studies involving more than 4,000 people explained that hydrogen peroxide tooth whitening products do not have a causative link to oral cancer. This is because such a low level of the substance could not possibly cause harmful changes within the short amount of time in which the mouth is directly exposed to it (30 to 60 minutes per full treatment, on average).
Because tooth-whiteners are especially popular among smokers, the review also quelled any concerns that the combination of hydrogen peroxide and carcinogenic cigarette ingredients could increase the likelihood of oral cancer.
Ultimately, contemporary tooth-whitening products have been found to be a safe treatment for discoloration and stains, with no serious side effects about which users should worry.
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