While teeth whitening remains as popular as ever, there are side effects that are associated with achieving a brighter smile. Even though the American Dental Association has considered tooth whitening to be a relatively safe procedure, there are always consequences to consider before making the decision to whiten your teeth. As with any procedure or product that is going to be used on your personal body, speaking with a trusted medical professional (i.e. your dentist) before beginning a whitening regime is always best.
There are many people who use teeth whitening products who are extremely satisfied with their results and who do not experience any negative side effects. However, there are just as many people that encounter one or more of the following side effects associated with whitening:
* Tooth sensitivity is commonly associated with teeth whitening. People who have tooth sensitivity prior to whitening should consult with their dentist before bleaching their teeth. Tooth sensitivity generally lasts for a short period of time after the procedure, but can last longer in those people who continually whiten their teeth.
* Soft tissue irritation (a chemical burn) may occur if the whitening solution comes in to contact with the gum tissue during the whitening process. While the tissue does return to normal soon after a procedure, it can be alarming to many to see the gum line extremely irritated.
* Undesirable results may result depending on the initial shade of the teeth that are being whitened. Teeth that are heavily stained may produce little to no results. People who whiten their teeth too often may notice that their teeth begin to appear gray, bluish, or translucent.
Before any whitening treatment is started, whether at home or in the dentist office, it is best to consult with your dentist. S/he knows your dental history and the current state of your oral health and can let you know if you are an ideal candidate for teeth whitening. All negative side effects can be avoided, but only if you see counsel from the one who knows your teeth best: your dentist.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Eberhard, Mockingbird Dental Associates
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