Written by Dentistry Today Wednesday, 19 December 2012 15:45
There may be a way to prevent sensitivity often associated with tooth whitening. Calcium-containing whitening gel could reduce the side effects from tooth whitening, according to a new study.
The study, which appeared in the Journal of the American Dental Association, proved that a calcium-containing substance could lower the sensitivity that results from tooth whitening.
Previously, manufacturers of tooth-whitening products tried to utilize desensitizers to curb the effects of whitening agents. Potassium nitrate and fluoride were two of the top ingredients used, but studies with these products proved inconclusive.
The researchers of this study claim that the calcium compounds prevent mineral loss, which is one of the top reasons for tooth sensitivity. No previous studies have pinpointed calcium compounds as a whitening agent. As a result, the researchers opted to study the impact of adding 2 percent calcium gluconate and 35 percent hydrogen peroxide gel.
The research team conducted the study on 40 adults at the State University of Ponta Grossa Dental School in Brazil. The 40 study participants were separated into two groups. The first group included people that would receive whitening gel with a calcium compound added and the other group included people treated with a calcium-free gel.
Tooth sensitivity and color enhancement were studied. It was determined that the color enhancement was similar in both groups but tooth sensitivity was much lower for the people treated with the calcium gel. The results showed that 80 percent of the people treated in the calcium-free group reported sensitivity compared to 40 percent of the people in the group treated with calcium. There was a scale used to determine levels of sensitivity.