With a new dental bleaching gel, you may have whiter teeth without the pain.

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With a new dental bleaching gel, you may have whiter teeth without the pain.

Most people like to show off their dazzling whites, but meals, beverages, and even medications can discolor teeth over time. Unfortunately, the high quantities of hydrogen peroxide used by dentists can erode enamel, causing tooth sensitivity and gum discomfort. Researchers have developed a gel that, when exposed to near infrared (NIR) light, safely whitens teeth without causing burns, according to ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.

Tooth whitening has become one of the most popular dental procedures due to the increased demand for selfie-ready smiles. Treatments at a dentist’s office are successful, although they utilize hydrogen peroxide with a high concentration (30–40%). Home bleaching treatments contain less peroxide (6–12%), however they usually take weeks of treatment and are less effective. Hydrogen peroxide and peroxide-derived reactive oxygen species (mostly the hydroxyl radical) breakdown pigments in stains when a bleaching gel is applied to teeth. Researchers have attempted to improve the bleaching ability of low-concentration hydrogen peroxide by increasing the formation of strong hydroxyl radicals, which is considerably better than hydrogen peroxide itself. Xingyu Hu, Li Xie, Weidong Tian, and colleagues intended to create a safe, effective whitening gel with a catalyst that would transform low quantities of hydrogen peroxide into copious hydroxyl radicals when exposed to NIR light.

The scientists created oxygen-deficient titania nanoparticles that accelerated the generation of hydroxyl radicals from hydrogen peroxide. The nanoparticles’ catalytic activity was boosted by exposing them to near-infrared light, allowing them to totally bleach tooth samples stained with orange dye, tea, or red dye in about 2 hours. The researchers then created a gel using nanoparticles, a carbomer gel, and 12% hydrogen peroxide. They used it on tooth samples that were naturally discolored and exposed to NIR light for an hour. The gel whitened teeth just as well as a popular tooth whitening gel with 40% hydrogen peroxide, but with less enamel damage. According to the researchers, the nanoparticle system is very promising for tooth bleaching and might also be applied to other biological applications, such as the development of antimicrobial materials.

Xingyu Hu, Li Xie*, Zhaoyu Xu, Suru Liu, Xinzhi Tan, Ruojing Qian, Ruitao Zhang, Mingyan Jiang, Wenjia Xie, and Weidong Tian, “Photothermal-Enhanced Fenton-like Catalytic Activity of Oxygen-Deficient Nanotitania for Efficient and Safe Tooth Whitening,” ACS Applied Materials

10.1021acsami.1c06774 DOI: 10.1021acsami.1c06774

The authors thank the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the National Key Research and Development Center of China, and the National Key Research and Development Center of China for their support. Summary of the latest news from Brinkwire.

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