A young lad trying to look like Hollywood heartthrob Channing Tatum is not smiling any more after he was left with a hole through his throat - from a tooth whitening kit.
Jake Barrett, 22, from Rushton, Northamptonshire wanted to emulate the pearly whites of his favourite actor Tatum, so he bought a tooth bleaching kit he could do at home.
But the young lad was left never wanting to smile again after a rare reaction to the Crest 1hr Express Strips left him with a bulging sac of peroxide bleach under his tongue.
Medics were forced to remove the pulsating sac of bleach from below to save the young lad’s life, because if it had burst it would have burned all the way down to his stomach.
Jake, of Rushton, Northamptonshire, 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.”
But just 48 hours after applying the £65 Crest 1hr Express strips, which are available to order from retailers such as eBay and Amazon, sales assistant Jake says a painful sac formed in his throat.
He said: “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.”
After six days of agony, he finally went to A&E at Kettering General Hospital - where medics told him it was deadly hydrogen peroxide.
Shockingly, the chemical compound is often used in homemade explosives - and according to the ingredients on the packaging, makes up a sizeable 15 per cent of the Crest strips.
To his horror, Jake was told that he was mere moments from death by peroxide poisoning.
He was rushed to Northampton General Hospital for an emergency three-hour operation to drain the sac via a tube inserted through an incision in his chin.
A tube was inserted through an incision in his chin to drain the hydrogen peroxide from Jake’s throat - leaving him with a gaping hole.
He also had one of his back teeth removed, because it had become infected with peroxide, and after ten days in hospital, was finally allowed home.
Now, Jake says he will avoid DIY beauty products, but will not give up his dreams of having a Hollywood smile.
Last month he splashed out £100 for professional laser teeth-whitening at a local beauty salon.
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.”
He added: “I’ve always admired Channing Tatum’s smile - it’s just gleaming.
“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.”
Crest’s parent company, Proctor and Gamble, have said they are aware of the incident and are investigating.
A spokesperson 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 Bartlett’s experience and wish him a full recovery.
“Whilst not sold directly by P&G in the UK, Crest Whitestrips have been available in the United States for more than ten years, complying with all relevant legislation including peroxide levels.
“They are safe to use when applied as indicated on the packaging.”