Sales Assistant, Had Hole Burned In His Throat

A sales assistant in a bid to get a smile like his favourite actor Channing Tatum, used a tooth whitening kit but ended up with a hole in his throat.

22-year-old, Rushton, Northamptonshire, resident Jake Barrett was left with a grape-sized sac of peroxide bleach under his tongue after he suffered a rare reaction to the Crest 1hr Express Strips.

48 hours following application of the £65 treatment a painful cyst full of poison began to develop under his tongue, which could have burst at any moment and burned down to his stomach.


Jake Barrett, 22, (left) ended-up with a gaping hole in his throat (right) following use of Crest 1hr Express Strips

He coped with the pain for six days before eventually admitting himself to the A&E department at Kettering Hospital, where doctors discovered the grape-sized ball of hydrogen peroxide.

The chemical compound is found in a number of whitening treatments, including bleach and disinfectants, on top of being used to make homemade explosives.

Hydrogen peroxide made up nearly 15 per cent of the Crest strips that Mr Barrett used.

He underwent an emergency three hour operation to drain the sac with a tube inserted through an incision under his chin, leaving him with a gaping hole.

The sales assistant said: ‘The doctor told me that the sac that had formed was the size of a grape, and so delicate that any moment it could have leaked hydrogen peroxide down my throat.
‘If that had happened, I would have got peroxide poisoning and died.
‘I wasn’t sure what the liquid was or why it had formed, but I assumed I would be OK and that the penicillin I was taking for something else would treat that, too.
‘But over the next few days, the bulge continued to grow until I could barely swallow.
‘I was limited to drinking smoothies and soup, but even they didn’t go down easily – eventually I gave up and went to the hospital.’

Furthermore, he had one of his back teeth taken out since it had become infected with peroxide, and after ten days in hospital, he finally got the permission to go home.
He said: ‘I was so focused on getting a Hollywood smile I didn’t stop to think about the damage it might do to my teeth.
‘When you buy beauty products you just assume they are safe – especially when it’s a big name like Crest.
‘When I found out the chemical could have poisoned me, I was in shock. Now, I feel lucky to be alive.’

Mr Barrett had vowed to steer clear of DIY beauty products, but did not let the experience put him off having a Hollywood smile.
Regardless of smoking ten cigarettes and drinking six coffees a day, he shelled out £100 for professional laser teeth-whitening at a local beauty salon last month.


Mr Barrett, pictured left with the strips on his teeth, underwent emergency surgery to remove the cyst plus a tooth, which had been infected by peroxide (right)


In spite of spending ten days in hospital (right) he was still bent on getting a Hollywood smile like his idol, Channing Tatum (left) and instead shelled out £100 for laser treatment

‘I’ve always admired Channing Tatum’s smile – it’s just gleaming,’ he added.
‘DIY beauty treatments are a complete hazard – I had no idea what was in the products or how to use them properly and the consequence was terrifying.
‘I’ve got my gleaming teeth – now I just need to work on my six-pack.’
A spokesman for Procter & Gamble, which owns Crest, said: ‘Nothing is more important to us than the wellbeing and safety of the people who use our products.
‘We’re sorry to hear about Mr Barrett’s experience and wish him a full recovery.
‘We are not familiar with this specific case and would very much like to talk to him, allowing us to investigate fully.’
They added: ‘Whilst not sold directly by P&G in the UK, Crest Whitestrips have been available in the United States for more than 10 years, complying with all relevant legislation including peroxide levels.
‘They are safe to use when applied as indicated on the packaging.’



In the teeth-whitening procedure, the teeth are bleached, often with chemicals that contain hydrogen peroxide. A powerful antioxidant hydrogen peroxide is used in an array of treatments, from disinfecting surgical tools to mixing with ammonia hydroxide to bleach hair.

Furthermore, it has been known for its use in homemade explosive devices.
DIY whitening kits can be fatal if the bleaching gel leaks out onto the gums and into the mouth, causing blistering and sensitivity.
There’s also a likelihood of burns to gums plus a few whitening kits used at home can harm tooth enamel.
The NHS recommends having your teeth whitened only by a dentist or another regulated dental professional, for example a dental hygienist or dental therapist.
A handful of beauty salons offer teeth whitening, but this is not legal if there’s no dental professional present, and it may put oral health at risk.
According to a previous research home whitening kits trigger stomach problems, mouth infections, toothache, gum-shrinking and nerve damage.
As reported by the Tooth Whitening Information Group (TWIG) not all home kits are assessed for safety and tend to be more acidic.
They say: ‘There is a chance that these products could damage your teeth and gums. Because tooth whitening is a complicated procedure we advise that you always talk to your dentist before starting the treatment.