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How Does Carbamide Peroxide Teeth Bleaching Work?

How to Stop Grinding Your Teeth at Night


Carbamide peroxide bleaching is bleaching agent that changes the color of the teeth, and is typically found in teeth bleaching treatments combined with hydrogen peroxide and urea. Carbamide peroxide is normally found in home teeth bleaching treatments that are in gel form, and applied in custom-made or generic tray, which is worn overnight or for a certain period during the day.

When exposed to saliva or ambient light, the carbamide peroxide causes the hydrogen peroxide and urea to separate and break apart into water molecules and oxygen ions. These oxygen ions penetrate the enamel and dentin on the teeth and work to change the molecular structure of the stain molecules on your teeth, and the end result is teeth that is whiter and cleaner looking.

Carbamide peroxide teeth bleaching treatments normally have a ten percent carbamide peroxide concentration. However, some carbamide peroxide products have a concentration of up to twenty-two percent.

Benefits of Carbamide Peroxide Teeth Bleaching

Apart from the evident bleaching effect of carbamide peroxide bleaching solutions, studies have shown that carbamide peroxide solutions also protect the teeth against plaque. Plaque is a clear and sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth resulting from consuming carbohydrates, particularly simple sugars and starch. Having anti-plaque properties is important because plaque causes tooth decay and gum disease, which can eventually develop to the irritation and inflammation of the gums and even tooth loss.

Side Effects of Carbamide Peroxide Teeth Bleaching

One study examined the effects of carbamide peroxide bleaching agents on the teeth enamel’s hardness. Seven different carbamide peroxide bleaching products and their effects on the microhardness of the teeth enamel were compared, and the study found that all these products had a similar effect of decreasing the microhardness of the enamel.



Mokhlis DDS, MSD, Ghassan R., Bruce A. Matis DDS, MSD, Michael A. Cochran DDS, MSD, and George J. Eckert MAS. “A Clinical Evaluation of Carbamide Peroxide And Hydrogen Peroxide Whitening Agents During Daytime Use.” Journal of American Dental Association 131.9 (2000): 1269-277. The Journal of the American Dental Association. Web. 14 Feb. 2011.

Giniger MD, Martin. “Dental Bytes: Tooth Whitening.” New Jersey Dental School. Web. 14 Feb. 2011.

Basting DDS, MS, ScD, Roberta, Antionio Rodriguez Jr, DDS, MS, ScD, and Monica Serra DDS, MS, ScD. “The Effects of Seven Carbamide Peroxide Bleaching Agents on Enamel Microhardness Over Time.” Journal of American Dental Association 134.10 (2003): 1335-342. The Journal of the American Dental Association. Web. 14 Feb. 2011.

“Tooth Plaque Causes, Prevention, and Treatments.” WebMD – Better Information. Better Health. Web. 14 Feb. 2011.


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