Hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide have similar uses as both have hydrogen peroxide activity. For example, both are used as teeth whiteners. However, whether hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide is used differs according to needs.
Firstly, What is Peroxide?
Peroxide is the main ingredient that makes teeth whitening agents effective. Peroxide is an oxidizing agent that can break down the chemical bonds that hold together the chromogens in the teeth. By breaking down these bonds, peroxide can reduce the intensity and saturation of the colors in the teeth, making them appear lighter and brighter.
Peroxide can also kill bacteria and fungi that may cause plaque and tooth decay, which can also contribute to tooth discoloration. By eliminating these microorganisms, peroxide can help improve oral hygiene and prevent further staining of the teeth.
What is Hydrogen Peroxide?
Hydrogen peroxide is the simplest form of hydrogen peroxide and is represented by hydrogen peroxide. It is a clear liquid with a boiling point of 150°C. It is completely miscible with water, but can be completely separated by distillation due to its higher boiling point than water. Hydrogen peroxide is a strong redox agent. Hydrogen peroxide is a nonlinear, non-planar molecule.
Peroxides are by-products or intermediates of various chemical reactions. This reaction also happens in our body. Peroxides have toxic effects inside our cells. Therefore, once they are produced, they must be neutralized. Our cells have a special mechanism. In our cells there is an organelle called the peroxisome, which contains the enzyme catalase. This enzyme detoxifies by catalyzing the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen.
Hydrogen peroxide has hazardous properties, such as decomposing into oxygen and water with the release of heat, or decomposing due to contamination or contact with active surfaces. Due to the formation of oxygen, the pressure inside the container increases and an explosive mixture can also be formed. The bleaching action of hydrogen peroxide is due to the oxidation and release of oxygen. This oxygen reacts with colored substances, rendering them colorless.
colorless substance → colorless substance
In addition to bleaching, hydrogen peroxide is used as an oxidizer for rocket fuel, in the production of epoxides, pharmaceuticals and food, as a preservative, and more. Hydrogen peroxide is stored in paraffin-coated glass, plastic or Teflon bottles.
What is Carbamide Peroxide?
Carbamide peroxide is an adduct of hydrogen peroxide and urea. This is also known as carbamide peroxide, carbamide hydrogen peroxide, and performamide. The molecular formula of carbamide peroxide is CH6N2O3. This is a white solid crystal with a molar mass of 94.07 g mol−1. Hydrogen peroxide is released when the solid dissolves in water.
Carbamide peroxide is an oxidizing agent. Carbamide peroxide is formed by dissolving urea in hydrogen peroxide and then crystallizing it. As an oxidant, it is widely used. Carbamide peroxide is used as a tooth whitening agent. Thanks to hydrogen peroxide, it can also be used as a bleach and disinfectant.
Therefore, this is an important compound in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. Since this releases hydrogen peroxide when dissolved, carbamide peroxide is also used as a substitute for hydrogen peroxide in the laboratory. However, at higher concentrations, carbamide peroxide can be corrosive and toxic to the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract. So we have to be careful when handling this compound.
How ADA Says about Them?
Dr. Jane Gillette from the American Dental Association will let us know more about the similarities and difference between them.
Carbamide Peroxide vs Hydrogen Peroxide in Teeth Whitening
Let’s see a table of comparison:
|Aspect||Hydrogen Peroxide Gel||Carbamide Peroxide Gel|
|Chemical Composition||Contains Hydrogen Peroxide as the active ingredient||Contains Carbamide Peroxide as the active ingredient|
|Whitening Ability||Provides rapid and effective whitening, visible results in 1-2 treatments||Provides gradual but long-lasting whitening, visible results in 1-2 weeks of treatments|
|Speed||Achieves desired results in fewer applications, usually 1-3 treatments||Requires more applications to achieve desired results, usually 7-14 days of treatments|
|Safety||High concentrations can irritate gums and teeth, should be used with caution||Lower risk of sensitivity or irritation, but may still cause discomfort or sensitivity|
|Common used percentages||6-35%, with higher percentages used for faster results||10-44%, with lower percentages used for longer treatments|
|Application time||Usually 30-60 minutes per treatment, depending on the concentration used||Usually 30-60 minutes per treatment, depending on the concentration used|
|Mode of Application||Applied directly to teeth or used with trays or strips||Applied directly to teeth or used with trays or strips|
|Duration of results||Results can last up to 6 months with proper oral care and maintenance||Results can last up to 6 months with proper oral care and maintenance|
|Suitability for sensitive teeth/gums||May cause sensitivity or irritation in some people, should be used with caution||Lower risk of sensitivity or irritation, but may still cause discomfort or sensitivity|
Both carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide are frequently used as teeth bleaching agents. However, they differ in chemical composition and function.
Urea and hydrogen peroxide are the components of carbamide peroxide. When it comes into contact with water, it gently releases hydrogen peroxide, making it a common ingredient in teeth-whitening products. This slow-release formulation enables the whitening agent to remain active for an extended period of time, resulting in superior and more durable results. Also used in earwax removal solutions is carbamide peroxide.
Hydrogen peroxide, on the other hand, is a simple molecule consisting of two hydrogen atoms and two oxygen atoms. It is commonly employed as a disinfectant, antiseptic, and sterilizing agent due to its potent oxidizing properties. It functions by decomposing into water and oxygen, thereby releasing free radicals that can penetrate tooth enamel and break down the molecules that cause discoloration.
Is Carbamide the Same as Hydrogen Peroxide?
No, carbamide is not the same as hydrogen peroxide.
Carbamide is a chemical compound that is commonly used in tooth whitening products. It is a derivative of hydrogen peroxide and breaks down into hydrogen peroxide when it comes into contact with water.
Hydrogen peroxide, on the other hand, is a chemical compound that is commonly used as a disinfectant and oxidizing agent. It is a powerful bleaching agent and can be used to whiten teeth, but it is also more potentially dangerous and can cause irritation if used in high concentrations.
Is Hydrogen Peroxide Risky for Teeth Whitening?
Hydrogen peroxide is commonly used as an active ingredient in teeth whitening products, and in many cases it is safe and effective. However, like any chemical, hydrogen peroxide can be harmful if it is not used properly. If you are considering using a product that contains hydrogen peroxide for teeth whitening, it is important to follow the instructions on the label and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.
In general, it is always a good idea to use any product, including teeth whitening products, with caution and according to the directions provided.
Another Option: PAP Teeth Whitening
PAP teeth whitening is a teeth whitening method that uses a gel containing peroxide and a light-activated accelerator (LAA) to whiten teeth. The peroxide in the gel breaks down into oxygen and water when it is exposed to the LAA, which helps to remove stains from the surface of the teeth.
This method is sometimes called “power bleaching” or “laser bleaching” because it uses a special light to activate the gel and accelerate the whitening process. Some people may experience sensitivity or discomfort during or after the treatment, so it is important to follow the instructions of your dentist and use any prescribed desensitizing agents as directed.
Is Carbamide Peroxide Faster or Slower than Hydrogen Peroxide?
Carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide are both oxidizing agents, which means they can cause the breakdown of organic material by reacting with it.
It is worth noting that hydrogen peroxide is generally more reactive than carbamide peroxide, so it may break down organic material faster in some cases. However, the specific reaction rate of a given compound depends on a number of factors, including the concentration of the compound and the conditions of the reaction, so it is difficult to make a general statement about the relative speed of these two compounds without more information.
Is Carbamide Peroxide Safer than Hydrogen Peroxide for Teeth Whitening?
It is difficult to say whether one of these compounds is safer than the other for teeth whitening.
Both carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide can be used as active ingredients in teeth whitening products, but their safety and effectiveness can vary depending on the concentration of the compound and the specific product in which it is used.
As with any product that you put in your mouth, it is important to follow the instructions on the label and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns. In general, it is always a good idea to use any product, including teeth whitening products, with caution and according to the directions provided.
The best method for teeth whitening will depend on your individual needs and circumstances.
If you are interested in whitening your teeth, we suggest consulting with a dentist or other healthcare professional who can help you choose a safe and effective method that is right for you. Some common teeth whitening methods include using whitening toothpaste or mouthwash, undergoing a professional teeth whitening treatment at a dentist’s office, or using at-home whitening kits that contain a bleaching agent such as hydrogen peroxide. No matter which method you choose, it is important to follow the instructions provided and to use the product as directed to avoid damaging your teeth or causing other adverse effects.
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- A clinical evaluation of carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide whitening agents during daytime use. By G R Mokhlis, B A Matis, M A Cochran, G J Eckert