How Safe is Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening may be the most popular cosmetic dental treatment. In addition to professional whitening, many consumers use products found in stores to bleach stains off of their smile. Here is an overview of how safe these options are and how you can minimize risks.
Store-bought whitening products are usually mild, but they can still cause damage if misused. If products based on abrasives or peroxides are used too frequently, teeth sensitivity can result. Peroxides can also irritate the gums or cause teeth sensitivity if left on the teeth for too long.
Stronger bleaching gels are used during professional teeth whitening procedures, but professional supervision and equipment reduces risks. For example, custom mouthpieces guard the gums from the bleaching gel. Our dentist also leaves the gel on for only the specified time, and fluoride can be applied to the teeth afterwards to prevent teeth sensitivity.
Gum irritation and teeth sensitivity are the two main problems patients experience from tooth whitening, and both can often be prevented. Perhaps most importantly, patients should avoid whitening their teeth too often. Instructions should be used for home whitening products, and fluoride can be used after any whitening technique to speed enamel repair and keep the teeth comfortable.
Some conditions can make patients more prone to problems from teeth whitening. Active gum disease, enamel loss and chronic tooth sensitivity may spur recommendations to avoid the procedure. You can schedule a consultation with our dentist to learn about the safety of teeth whitening for you.
Back to Blog