Hydrogen Peroxide Gums and Teeth Treatments

You might be pretty familiar with hydrogen peroxide. In fact, you might even have a brown plastic bottle of it tucked away in your medicine cabinet to clean cuts and scrapes. But did you know that it has several uses in dentistry? Hydrogen peroxide uses range from whitening your teeth to helping to treat gum disease.

Hydrogen Peroxide Gums Treatment

Hydrogen peroxide can give you a healthier smile. As RDH notes, dentists have used hydrogen peroxide since 1913 to treat gum disease and reduce plaque on the teeth.

Hydrogen peroxide helps kill the bacteria responsible for gum disease in two ways. First, it releases oxygen. If you've ever noticed that peroxide bubbles, that's because it's releasing oxygen gas. Oxygen can help eliminate pathogens in the most aggressive forms of gum disease. The presence of oxygen makes it difficult (if not impossible) for anaerobic bacteria to survive.

The other way that hydrogen peroxide gums treatment may relieve gum diseases and improve gum health is by breaking through the slime barrier, which protects a biofilm, to destroy bacteria's cell walls. RDH points out that often the most effective way to reach bacteria located deep in periodontal pockets is to apply peroxide in gel form with a tray. Leaving the gel in place for at least 10 minutes helps the peroxide destroy nearly all of the bacteria cells present.

Hydrogen Peroxide for Oral Hygiene

You don't have to have an advanced form of periodontal or gum disease to benefit from hydrogen peroxide. A 3 percent solution of hydrogen peroxide is the kind that's available in most pharmacies, the National Capital Poison Center notes. It can help remove plaque from the surface of your teeth and reverse the earliest signs of gum disease, according to the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH). The ISDH recommends using a soft-bristled toothbrush to apply the 3 percent solution, then flossing your teeth after rinsing. Another option is to rinse your mouth with a solution made of half water and half 3 percent hydrogen peroxide.

Hydrogen Peroxide for Tooth Whitening

One of the more well-known uses of hydrogen peroxide in dentistry is tooth whitening. The amount of hydrogen peroxide found in a whitening product depends on its type and how it's meant to be used. For example, some whitening toothpastes, such as Colgate Optic White Express White, contain hydrogen peroxide, a professionally recommended whitening ingredient.

Although some whitening toothpastes contain more hydrogen peroxide than others, no toothpaste contains as much or concentrations greater than a tooth bleaching product designed for application by your dentist. Professional tooth whitening products contain a concentration of hydrogen peroxide that ranges from 25 to 40 percent, according to the American Dental Association. The higher concentration means the hydrogen peroxide bleaches your teeth more quickly than low-concentration toothpastes or over-the-counter whitening products.

Safety

When used as directed, hydrogen peroxide is usually safe. While you will most likely be fine if you swallow a bit of the hydrogen peroxide in your medicine cabinet, you should be careful not to ingest a stronger concentration. Use any product with hydrogen peroxide in it only as directed.

Although hydrogen peroxide is readily available and you might even have a bottle of it at home, it's a good idea to check with your dentist before you start using it in your mouth. Especially in higher concentrations, the solution can be irritating and cause some discomfort if not used correctly. Your dentist can point you to the right product to use, whether you're looking for a whiter smile or healthier gums.

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Common Conditions During ADULTHOOD

As we get older, dental care for adults is crucial. Here are a few of the conditions to be aware of:

Gum disease – if your home care routine of brushing and flossing has slipped and you have skipped your regular dental cleanings, bacterial plaque and tartar can build up on your teeth. The plaque and tartar, if left untreated, may eventually cause irreparable damage to your jawbone and support structures, and could lead to tooth loss.

Oral cancer – according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, men over the age of 40 have the greatest risk for oral cancer. About approximately 43,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer of the mouth, tongue or throat area, and the ACS estimates that about 7,000 people will die from these cancers. The use of tobacco products and alcohol increases the risk of oral cancer. Most oral cancers are first diagnosed by the dentist during a routine checkup.

Dental fillings break down – fillings have a life expectancy of eight to 10 years. However, they can last 20 years or longer. When the fillings in your mouth start to break down, food and bacteria can get underneath them and can cause decay deep in the tooth.