Dental Tribune Asia Pacific

Vital tooth bleaching has adverse effects on oral health, study concludes

DUNEDIN, New Zealand: A newly published systemic review has revealed that, while tooth bleaching treatment yields positive changes for young participants in aesthetic-related areas, such as smiling, laughing and showing teeth without embarrassment, it causes tooth sensitivity and can affect quality of life and thus oral health.

Tooth discoloration is common these days and has resulted in the widespread popularity of tooth bleaching treatment. Hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide are the bleaching agents most often used in the whitening processes. Despite the benefits of tooth bleaching, its side effects are of concern to dentists and patients. Therefore, scientists carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies that had previously investigated the changes in perceived quality of life after vital tooth bleaching.

In total, 313 studies were identified, but only four met the inclusion criteria. Two of them showed a statistically significant improvement, one showed worsening and the last one was inconclusive. Within the studies, there was a pattern of improvement in aesthetic-related domains, such as smiling and psychological discomfort, and deterioration in function-related domains, such as hygiene and pain.

The authors concluded that tooth bleaching was not associated with improvements in the overall oral health-related quality of life (OHRQOL) in these heterogeneous populations. The dental procedure appeared to impact some domains of OHRQOL positively and some negatively, indicating the need for clinicians to treat patients receiving whitening treatment with the utmost care in order to obtain the best results in aesthetics with minimal side effects. The researchers also noted that clinicians should be aware of the potential impact caused by tooth sensitivity and either offer instruction to prevent it or recommend the right treatment to reduce its impact.

The study, titled “Vital bleaching and oral-health-related quality of life in adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis”, was published in the May 2019 issue of the Journal of Dentistry.

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DT Asia Pacific No. 4, 2019

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