The Baking Soda Craze

Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is a handy and popular product that used often for cleaning due to its mildly abrasive properties. It is known to dissolve molds and grease, and can also absorb foul odors. For these reasons, it is often used in laundry, for absorbing odors inside the refrigerator and for removing stains in hard surfaces. The popularity of the product also extends in teeth cleaning and whitening – but to be sure that you are not doing more harm than good, you need to know the facts and details about this product.

A Little Background

When dentists discovered the dental problem that is gum disease, their first solution was to reduce the gums and the depth of the pockets around the teeth. Back then, they were not yet aware that the disease was caused by an infection, only that it was caused by poor brushing technique. Hence, the gums were trimmed to less than 4 millimeters – which is equivalent to the length of the bristle of a toothbrush, and with doing so they assumed that the pockets would now be reached. However, it did not seem to solve the problem until somebody suggested that it was bacteria that caused the infection and the deep pockets.

Keyes’ Solution

It was dentist Paul Keyes who discovered that gum or periodontal disease was caused by bacteria. Furthermore, he suggested a non-surgical treatment method to cure gum disease in the form of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, followed by a system of antibiotics. Keyes himself experienced sensitivity when the treatment was applied, and so suggested that it be followed by fluoride.

An Emergency Mixture

From then on, the mixture of peroxide and baking soda has been widely used to treat gum diseases when no other means of treatment was available. Given that it is a common grocery product, many turned to baking soda to help with other oral health concerns. However, many were warned against using too much of it as it can still damage the enamel of the teeth permanently because of its abrasive properties. Also, beware of using peroxide especially if you have silver fillings – as the chemical can release the mercury from the filling to the mouth.

The Risk

Clinicians have been noticing that sensitivity, gum recession and enamel erosion have been associated with the use of baking soda. This is more prevalent among women who are on medications for dry mouth or poor saliva production. They hypothesize that baking soda aids in breaking down the layer of protein in the teeth that helps it against chemical and physical assault. This layer of protein is not only protective, but also helps attract minerals that replenish the teeth with nutrients to keep it strong. Moreover, if this layer is damaged, the tooth may become sensitive.

If you are after a pearly white smile, ensure that you seek professional for safe and long lasting results. Contact Greenspoint Dental to schedule an appointment with our team. We will help you attain that flashy, movie star smile that you have always wanted without worries.