Do Teeth Whiteners Lead to Oral Cancer?

The procedure of lightening teeth to eliminate stains and make them more presentable, teeth whitening, today, are in growing demand all over the globe.

It’s worthwhile repeating this procedure occasionally in order to retain a brighter color.

Teeth whitening products or teeth whiteners contain bleaches that separate stains into smaller fragments and thus brighten your teeth while reducing the concentration of the discoloration.

Today, numerous teeth whitening products are easily available on the market. Based on your suitability and convenience, you can choose from whitening toothpaste, whitening strips, whitening pens, whitening trays, whitening charcoal powder, and whitening kits.

What is oral cancer?

The primary cause of death from oral disease all over the globe, oral cancer is a growing public health concern today.

Oral cancer develops as a sore in the mouth that does not disappear with time. This life-threatening disease can affect one or all parts of the mouth including the lips, tongue, throat, and sinuses. Besides experiencing difficulty while swallowing, the common symptoms of oral cancer also include ear pain, a changed voice, and drastic weight loss.

Surgery is a common cure for this dangerous disease. Depending on your health condition and the stage of oral cancer, your physician will explain one or more types of oral surgery. These days dentists are using advanced equipment like a precordial stethoscope while performing oral surgery. This Bluetooth enabled stethoscope to uses a microphone that produces noise-free sounds for diagnostics.

An extremely useful and simple instrument, the precordial stethoscope enables an experienced dental practitioner to constantly assess your heart tones and also the quality of your lung sounds. This modern stethoscope works accurately even when you lose focus from physiologic monitors.

Precordial stethoscopes detect numerous critical events including cardiac arrhythmias, airway obstruction, and laryngospasm.

What are the common causes of oral cancer?

With men older than 50 years of age facing the maximum risk of suffering from oral cancer, the leading causes of this severe ailment are smoking, chewing tobacco products, uncontrolled intake of alcohol, a family history of the disease, unrestricted sun exposure (particularly when you are younger) and sexually transferred infections such as Human papillomavirus (HPV).

Teeth Whiteners and Oral Cancer: A Possible Connection

Among other less known causes of oral cancer, today, researchers are evaluating teeth whiteners for their possible association with developing oral cancer. For instance, researchers at the Georgetown University Hospital suggest that these products could be the cause behind two patients without any noticeable risk factors having developed advanced tongue cancer while still in their 20s.

Here are research-based views on the possibility of teeth whiteners causing oral cancer:

  • According to the information presented by researchers at the 6th International Conference on Head and Neck Cancer, teeth whiteners could be contributory to oral cancer diagnosis for those below 45 years of age.

The primary ingredient of teeth whiteners is carbamide peroxide (around 22 percent). When teeth whitening products are applied to your teeth, the carbamide peroxide breaks down and removes tooth stains. However, when it comes in contact with the oral soft tissue, it is likely to cause severe damage. The continued use of teeth whiteners without the necessary protection could lead to oral cancer.

Carbamide peroxide in water decomposes into hydrogen peroxide and urea. This process creates free radicals outside the cells. The free radicals can damage the cells by interacting with proteins, lipids (fat or oil or wax) and nucleic acids (biopolymers).

Generally, over-the-counter teeth whiteners almost always make contact with the oral soft tissue. In fact, a standard-sized teeth whitening application tray lets more than fifty percent of the active teeth whitening gel to ooze out of it.

  • In ideal circumstances, i.e. the optimum whitening results in the least possible time with minimum sensitivity, studies show that the right choice would be whitening trays personalized with respect to the shape and size of your teeth. These custom-fit whitening trays are extremely comfortable to wear because they are made from your teeth’s impressions.

size of your teeth

When your dentist places the teeth whitening gel into your personalized tray, it stays precisely where it’s required to. This way the gel won’t come out on to your gums, hence minimizing sensitivity.

This is also one of the reasons that you should get your teeth whitened by a dental practitioner rather than do it on your own.

  • An orthodontic insight into teeth whitening mouthwashes warns that these products containing hydrogen peroxide could be carcinogenic. It is advisable to take hydrogen peroxide in one’s mouth only under the guidance of a dentist who knows thoroughly about protecting the mucosa from exposure to the chemical.

Consuming hydrogen peroxide regularly, i.e. on a daily or weekly basis boosts the growth of malignant neoplasm, an abnormal cell division in the oral mucosa which lines the mouth. Hence, rinsing your mouth with hydrogen peroxide frequently could aggravate the risk of oral cancer.

You can certainly prevent any severe effects on your mouth tissues by practicing caution about the continued usage of the mouthwash.


Hence, it’s in your best interest that a dentist whitens your teeth. Also, the safer option is to use custom-fit whitening trays instead of the standard-sized ones.

Make sure to take into account the potential dangers of consuming hydrogen peroxide frequently. So, don’t simply rush to use teeth whitening mouthwashes without taking the advice of an experienced dentist.

By taking all the necessary precautions, you can stay away from the risk of developing oral cancer from the teeth whiteners. What’s more, you’d end up getting cleaner, shinier teeth and living without any worries of contracting oral cancer.

News Reporter