ABSTRACT A multicomponent evaluation of the oxidative consumption of salivary biomolecules by a hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-containing tooth-whitening formulation has been performed using high-resolution proton (1H) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Unstimulated human saliva samples (n = 10) were treated with aliquots of supernatants derived from 1) the H2O2-containing whitening gel, 2) the corresponding tooth-whitening accelerant solution containing an amino-alcohol activator, and 3) a combination of these product agents pre-mixed in the recommended manner. 600 MHz 1H NMR spectra acquired on these samples demonstrated that H2O2 present in the whitening gel gave rise to the oxidative decarboxylation of salivary pyruvate (to acetate and CO2), the direct oxidation of trimethylamine and methionine (to trimethylamine-N-oxide and methionine sulphoxide respectively), and the indirect oxidative consumption of lactate and carbohydrates in general. Experiments conducted on a chemical model system confirmed the consumption of pyruvate by added H2O2, and also revealed that this method could be employed for determinations of the H2O2 content of tooth-whitening products. In conclusion, high-resolution 1H NMR analysis provides much valuable molecular information regarding the fate of tooth-whitening oxidants in human saliva, and also permits an assessment of the ability of endogenous antioxidants therein to protect against any soft tissue damage arising from the possible leakage of H2O2 from tooth-whitening application trays.
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