3 Risks Associated With At-Home Teeth Whitening

Health & Medical Blog

As you peruse the dental hygiene section of the drugstore, you will see many teeth whitening products. There is no doubt that many of these products can work to some degree or another. They usually contain hydrogen peroxide, which is a well-known whitening agent. However, there are some risks associated with using over-the-counter teeth whitening products. Read on to learn more about these potential side effects.

1. Irritation And Burning

As mentioned above, hydrogen peroxide is one of the main ingredients used in drugstore tooth whitening products. This includes toothpaste and mouth rinses as well as gels and strips. The amount of hydrogen peroxide is highly concentrated in many products to speed up or enhance whitening results.

Unfortunately, these high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide can lead to irritation of the gums and other oral tissue. In severe cases, these products can even cause caustic burns. Because of this, it may be safer to avoid using these products without instructions from your dentist.

2. Damage To Tooth Enamel

Carbamide peroxide is another ingredient used in tooth whitening gels, pastes, rinses, and strips. It is an effective lightening agent, but it can cause negative effects. Concentrated amounts of carbamide peroxide may wear down the enamel of your teeth. This can leave your teeth more susceptible to damage and staining.

Additionally, tooth whitening products cause demineralization due to the peroxides and other acidic ingredients. This weakens your teeth and leads to decay. Your dentist may be able to perform remineralization treatments to help restore your teeth or suggest at-home remineralization treatments. However, it is ideal to avoid this problem altogether by using whitening methods that your dentists offers.

3. Increased Tooth Sensitivity

Have you ever seen toothpaste commercials for toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth? These commercials show people drinking and eating hot or cold products, and then they wince in pain. It may look like an exaggeration, but tooth sensitivity is no joke.

Tooth sensitivity can make it nearly impossible to enjoy your favorite ice cold lemonade or your first cup of hot coffee in the morning. Unfortunately, tooth whitening products are known to cause increased tooth sensitivity. This is common because of the issues mentioned above; damage to enamel and demineralization can quickly lead to sensitive teeth.

Looking On The Bright Side

The information above may be a little disheartening, but there is some good news. In-office treatments offered by dentists are still an option if you want white, bright teeth with reduced side effects. From light-activated whitening to tray whitening, you have plenty of options to consider. Discuss safer and more comfortable options with your dentist to find a whitening treatment that suits you.

For more information, contact David Jackson, DDS or a similar dental professional.


6 July 2016

Help Others Make Health Decisions when They Cannot

One day I was playing a game of basketball with a friend, and the friend I was playing ball with tripped and took a hard fall to the ground. He hit his head hard, but he insisted he was okay and just wanted to go home and take a nap. I knew in my heart that he was not thinking clearly, and I didn't feel right letting him go home. I talked him into letting me take him to the hospital, and after some tests, it was determined he had a bad concussion. The doctors told me that if I had let him go home and sleep, things could have taken a turn for the worse. I created this blog to remind everyone to look out for each other after injuries. Not everyone thinks clearly after a head injury, and just being a good friend could save a life.