The Dangers of Teeth Bleaching

The Dangers of Teeth Bleaching

by Shearly (SU)

Perfect white smiles are highly desirable, and there is an ever-increasing interest in teeth whitening products and procedures. Ongoing research shows that most products and techniques used to achieve that "Hollywood" smile are safe and effective when used correctly. However, when done incorrectly, there can be risks associated with teeth whitening.


While a teeth whitening procedure was once something limited to the dentist’s office, there have been many different retail products available for home use, each having their own problems. For several years, certain side effects of teeth whitening such as increased tooth sensitivity and gum irritation have concerned dental health professionals and the public.


Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) or other concentrated bleaching agents are the main ingredients used in most teeth whitening processes. The inappropriate use of both professional teeth whitening and over the counter methods may cause:


·       Erosion or roughening of teeth surfaces

·       Loss of healthy minerals in the teeth

·       Damage to the blood vessels and nerves inside your teeth

·       Harm to the color and structure of dental restorations

·       Temporary problems such as irritation of the mouth and the digestive tract when the product is swallowed

·       Increased tooth sensitivity

·       Gum irritation



­­­­­In-Office Whitening


Quicker and safer tooth whitening can be achieved at your dentist's office with products that contain higher concentrations of peroxide than over the counter methods. Supervision of whitening by an oral healthcare professional will reduce potential risks and enhance the benefits of tooth bleaching.


Remember that many home remedies and over the counter products for teeth lightening may be classified as cosmetic products and are sold without any restriction, despite the potential health hazards of peroxides and other agents.


The products used by your dentist or oral surgeon may achieve a longer lasting and higher level of brightness than home based products. Studies by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have shown that the optimal regimen to obtain persistence of tooth whitening is to follow an in-office treatment with monthly home-based touch-up treatments using OTC products.


If you are thinking about using teeth brightening products to use at home, talk with your dentist about what’s safest to use. The American Dental Association tests whitening products for safety and efficacy. Look for products that have the ADA Seal of Acceptance. That means it has been tested to be safe and effective for teeth whitening.


Your dental care professional can tailor the best method to use based on your needs and goals. And, it’s important to go in for regular check-ups and teeth cleaning. Talk with your dentist about any concerns you have about discolorations on your teeth. There may be easy lifestyle changes that can help prevent whitened teeth from getting dull or yellow again.


Dr. Ari Binder and the friendly staff of 360 Dental Group in Eugene, Oregon provide dental health services and healthy smiles for individual patients and families. If you would like to learn more about cosmetic dentistry, call (541) 689-1645 today. There are many forms of cosmetic and restorative dentistry that can give you the teeth and smile you have always wanted.