Teeth whitening can be an effective process to lighten the shades of your teeth, enhance your smile and boost your confidence. But, there are risks to be aware of when undertaking whitening.
With the abundance of tooth whitening products available over-the-counter, making those pearly whites as white as possible may seem safe but, combining several over the counter products every day could be hurting your teeth and gums. Here are a couple things to keep in mind when whitening at home:
Whitening Happens from the Outside In
Everyone’s teeth will stain naturally over time from all sorts of things including tea, coffee, red wine, tomato sauce and tobacco. Bleaching your teeth can help remove these stains from the outside, but the natural color still remains underneath. While whitening can change the shade of your teeth temporarily be sure to keep an eyes on your diet for a more lasting effect.
Over Whitening Can Have a Reserve Effect
Overbleaching can lead to receding gums, over-sensitivity and can actually make your teeth appear darker. Once the enamel on your teeth has been chemically eroded away, it’s gone forever, leaving your teeth weak and possibly discolored.
"If you choose to use a bleaching product you should only do so after consultation with a dentist."
- American Dental Association
Painful Side-Effects of Over Whitening Your Teeth
Additional problems that can occur from over-whitening include hypersensitivity to hot or cold substances, oral irritation, nerve damage to root nerves and burning gums. If you have a cracked tooth or a cavity and the bleach seeps into your tooth, you will be in a considerable amount of pain and may even need a root canal.
Bleachorexia is a Thing.
According to a recent report by ABC News, “Bleachorexia” is a condition that dentists refer to when a patient has an unhealthy obsession with whitening his or her teeth that is adversely affecting his or her dental health. Think you could be suffering from Bleachorexia? Contact The Port City Dental Center to discuss how to make your whitening effective and safe.
Look for ADA Recommended Products
Whitening products that are on the American Dental Association approved tooth whitening list have been more thoroughly vetted than other over the counter products without their endorsement. Look for the ADA label and follow instructions closely to avoid over whitening.