Use Tooth Whiteners with Caution
In today’s cosmetically conscious world practically everyone wants a whiter smile, and no one is immune to the countless advertisements touting over the counter teeth whiteners. So, what causes teeth to lose their luster in the first place? As it turns out, tobacco, coffee, tea, alcohol, food coloring and other additives, as well as natural aging are all culprits. In dentistry, tooth whitening is a cosmetic treatment that can provide patients with satisfyingly white smiles, but have you ever stopped to think about the chemicals that are involved in the whitening process?
A Historical Perspective
As long ago as ancient Egyptian and Roman times people were concerned about having a whiter smile, and they were diligent in recording their teeth whitening efforts. Records surviving from the Egyptian era show that people back then mixed a paste of pumice stone and vinegar counting on the abrasion from the pumice and acid of the vinegar to remove tooth stains. Somewhat unappetizingly, Romans found that urine – nature’s most perfect source of ammonia – helped to whiten teeth, a fact borne out in recent times that clearly demonstrate that diluted ammonia actually does have cleaning and brightening properties.
During the 17th and 18th centuries the pursuit of whiter teeth took a more barbaric turn when Europeans consulted their barbers, who ground down their teeth and then applied an acid solution to remove stains. Historical records show that Benjamin Franklin used a combination of honey and ground charcoal to clean his teeth and to keep them white – and ironically, today people are turning to activated charcoal to balance oral pH, to prevent cavities and kill harmful bacteria known to cause tooth decay and gingivitis. It is also being recognized as a fairly dynamic way to whiten teeth.
Over-the-counter Version of Whitening
Today the teeth whitening process can take hours, and during that time, teeth and gums soak in chemically based tooth whiteners — and as a result you may end up ingesting a plethora of toxins. Home whitening kits indicate that the product may irritate gums, and they point out the risk of using the bleaching agent incorrectly, but there is very little warning about the chemicals that you are absorbing into your system as you wait for your teeth to whiten. Toxic chemicals can leak from the trays containing the whitening gel onto surrounding areas inside the mouth, and an alarming amount can be swallowed. At the very least, bleaching agents can cause damage to the nerves of the teeth leading to heightened sensitivity.
Chemicals in Whiteners and Whitening Toothpaste
Over the counter teeth whitening kits and toothpaste are filled with potentially toxic chemicals that are potentially harmful to a person’s health and teeth, potentially causing acute tooth sensitivity and oral sores. The most common ingredient is hydrogen peroxide which is usually broken down by saliva, however studies show that at least 25 percent is swallowed, releasing free radicals into the body creating an assault on the immune system and potentially causing harm to sensitive organs and systems of the body.
Additional ingredients found in some whitening products along with their most potentially adverse characteristics can include:
- Coal tars: Severe allergic reactions, asthma attacks, headaches, nausea, fatigue, lack of concentration, nervousness, increased risk of Hodgkin’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Found in bubble bath, hair dye, dandruff shampoo, toothpaste and foods.
- Fluorides: May contain lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic. Accumulates in body and contributes to bone disease. Potentially carcinogenic.
- Aspartame: Genetically Modified, synthetic sugar substitute. People report dizziness, headaches and even seizures. Scientists believe it can alter behavior due to altered brain function. Long term effects of this genetically modified organism on human health has not been studied or tested.
- Aluminum: Heavy concentrations may be linked to Alzheimer’s dementia. Aluminum is in many antiperspirants and prevalent in water supplies. Some processed foods contain dietary aluminum.
- Benzene: Inhalation of high levels can cause headaches, rapid heart rate, tremors, confusion, unconsciousness and death. Hodgkin’s and Lymphomas result from inhalation. Used in detergents, drugs, pesticides and adhesives.
Holistic Dental Whitening with Ozone
Today we recommend a safer, more holistic way to whiten teeth by employing Ozone Treatments. Ozone is generally applied in holistic and natural dentistry and used where it is needed to kill germs, bacteria, fungi and viruses. It is effective within minutes and leaves no side effects. The added benefit of ozone treatment is that it has a bleaching effect on the teeth, it’s safe and nothing toxic is ingested in the process.
List of the More Widely Known Dangerous Ingredients in Body & Food Products http://www.purezing.com/living/toxins/living_toxins_dangerousingredients.html
Swallowing chemicals from teeth whiteners is common and very dangerous http://www.naturalnews.com/033959_teeth_whiteners_chemicals.html