Human Pulpal Response to Bleaching Procedures on Vital Teeth

By Cohen, SC, Chase C

Date: 01/1979
Journal: JOE


To determine if external bleaching procedures produce permanent damage on vital teeth


  • N= 51 human, caries-free, intact premolars indicated for orthodontic extraction in 19 patients
  • Thermostatically controlled heat and 35 % hydrogen peroxide placed externally for 30 min periods; and twice more separated by a week each. Teeth were extracted at the following intervals: 1 hour, 3 days, 15 days, and 30 days for histological exam. Contralateral premolar used as control


  • All treated teeth became lighter in color and remained so for as long as 30 days after treatment
  • Patients reported sensitivity to cold and intermittent, spontaneous pain that lasted for 24 hours or less in 14 patients; one patient reported symptoms for 48 hours
  • A non-significant number of cases saw aspiration of odontoblastic nuclei into the dentinal tubules (can be induced by intrapulpal pressure, including forceps removal) at the CEJ

Clinical Significance:

This study shows no damage to vital, healthy pulps to external bleaching with heat and 35 % hydrogen peroxide