For the last 20+ years, millions of people have been using teeth whitening products or seeing dentists to whiten their teeth. A majority do not encounter significant problems that would discourage them from continuing to make their teeth as white as possible; however, there can still be some side effects and downsides with chronic teeth whitening if not handled with care. These problems are considered minor, but can be avoided with the proper understanding of general teeth whitening.
What are the side effects and their causes from teeth whitening?
The primary side effect of teeth whitening is increased tooth sensitivity. The discomfort is similar to the feeling when your teeth are exposed to fluctuating temperatures; drinking a frozen smoothie or hot soup. The good news is this is temporary and goes away after you finish your teeth whitening treatment (e.g., remove the gel tray from your teeth), but the intermittent mild discomfort can last up to 1-3 days for some people.
Another side effect of teeth whitening is gum irritation; also known as soft tissue irritation. This is caused when the gel whitening solution comes into contact with your gum tissue. If you get your teeth whitened by dentist, they are usually very careful not to expose your gums to the highly concentrated gel solution that’s made up hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Whether at home or at the dentist office, if the teeth whitening solution comes in contact with your gums, the tissue will likely become inflamed and turn white, but this is only temporary and will typically go away within 24 hours. Some people report no problems at all while others are more sensitive.
These tooth and gum sensitivity side effects are mainly caused by the exposure of the dentin layer during the whitening process. The whitening gels that use peroxide to bleach the enamel of your teeth often open up the pores of your teeth, which expose the inner dentin layer. Dentin consists of small tubes called dentinal tubules and the peroxide from the whitening gel causes a chemical reaction that opens up these tubes. These tubes are a gateway to the root nerves of your teeth. So when there are extreme cold and hot temperature changes from food or drink exposed to your teeth in this state, you feel the painful side effect. Again, the pain passes soon, but can be a little uncomfortable.
Bleaching gel trays that are used to whiten teeth can irritate gums if they do not fit well. The gel trays purchased for teeth whitening at home (over the counter products) are typically not individually fitted. Although, some products do offer custom-fit tray kits that mold nicely to match the contour of your teeth. The one-size-fits-all trays can sometimes rub against your gums and irritate them.
How can you avoid the side effects of teeth whitening?
Nearly all teeth whitening at home products can produce side effects depending on the frequency of use and the type of reaction from different people. However, the best way to avoid the potential downsides is to purchase one of the top rated teeth whitening products through TopTenTeethWhitening.com. These are the best teeth whitening products on the market at the best prices. Also, always follow the directions exactly as they are provided and do not over use the whitening gel. Using too much gel in the trays will not make your teeth whiter; it will only expose your gums to increased tissue irritation. Any excel gel that touches your gums should be wiped away. If you encounter gum irritation, you can consider using a lower concentration of peroxide gel and increase the potency as needed to get the shade of white teeth you desire. You can also limit the time you wear the bleaching gel tray or strips. However, while this will reduce the annoyance, it will also take additional treatments to increase the whiteness of your teeth.
Again, whether you whiten your teeth at home or at the dentist office, you may still experience uncomfortable side effects of teeth or gum sensitivity. This is just a consequence of the peroxide that is used by all conventional whitening methods to bleach your teeth.
Please add your comment below if you experienced any side effects when trying to whiten your teeth and how you dealt with them.