Are There Any Side Effects from Teeth Whitening?

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While most people won't experience any issues with teeth whitening products or procedures, there are some cases in which some side effects may come forward. If you're considering getting your teeth whitened, here are some of the possible side effects from teeth whitening.

Sensitivity in teeth

Heightened sensitivity in the teeth can present itself immediately after teeth whitening or a short period after using the products. If the teeth whitening procedure is done by an experienced dentist, they will take every precaution to limit the exposure of the dentin layer to the whitening agent. The procedure will be tailored to not last too long and protective guards will be placed in your mouth to limit exposure.

This symptom is most common in people who have a history of sensitive teeth. If you have sensitive teeth and are thinking of using home whitening products, ask your dentist to suggest some brands that are best for sensitive teeth.

Irritation in the gums

Soft tissue irritation or chemical burns come about when the gums are exposed to the whitening or bleaching agent for too long. The tissue will appear white after it has come into contact with the agent for too long. This is more common when professional in-office whitening solutions like carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide are used as they are stronger than most home whitening solutions.

However, a dentist will use gum guards to make sure that there is very little chance of chemical burns. In most cases, it is a temporary problem and will remedy itself in a few days. However, extended exposure can lead to inflammation and redness in the gums. There may also be some bleeding and pain in the tissues of the gum. If the problem is very serious, consult your dentist about managing the pain while the condition heals.

Unsatisfactory results

Teeth whitening products cannot get rid of all stains and discolorations in the teeth and this may cause you to be unhappy with your results. Most products work on the outer layer of the tooth and will not be able to remove stains on the inner structure of the tooth.

Fluorosis marks that come about from overexposure to fluoride will also not be removed. These appear as white streaks, spots or lines. Severe cases will also cause brown, black or gray spots which cannot be removed with teeth whitening. Stains caused by blood vessel and nerve damage will also not be removed.

For some of these permanent types of staining, a root canal procedure may be required. You can also have a crown or veneer put in.

These are some of the problems you may face with teeth whitening. As always, consult a dentist before you use a home whitening kit or seek professional bleaching to minimize these side effects.