We have developed a new disinfection system for oral hygiene, proving that hydroxyl radicals generated by the photolysis of 1 M hydrogen peroxide could effectively kill oral pathogenic microorganisms. Prior to any clinical testing, the safety of the system especially in terms of the risk of carcinogenicity is examined by reviewing the literature. Previous studies have investigated indirectly the kinds of reactive oxygen species involved in some sort of chemically-induced mutagenicity in vitro by using reactive oxygen species scavengers, suggesting the possible involvement of hydroxyl radicals. Similarly, possible involvement of hydroxyl radicals in some sort of chemically-induced carcinogenicity has been proposed. Notably, it is suggested that the hydroxyl radical can play a role in heavy metal-induced carcinogenicity that requires chronic exposure to the carcinogen. In these cases, hydroxyl radicals produced by Fenton-like reactions may be involved in the carcinogenicity. Meanwhile, potential advantages have been reported on the use of the hydroxyl radical, being included in host immune defense by polymorphonuclear leukocytes, and medical applications such as for cancer treatment and antibiotics. From these, we conclude that there would seem to be little to no risk in using the hydroxyl radical as a disinfectant for short-term treatment of the oral cavity.
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Hydroxyl radical