What Are the Possible Side Effects of Teeth Whitening?

May 12, 2015

Dental stains are a common aesthetic concern. Though tooth discoloration will not affect the structure or health of your teeth, they can greatly impact your appearance and self-esteem. Teeth whitening is an easy, affordable way to improve your smile and boost your confidence. However, you may be worried about the potential risks of teeth whitening. Although you long for a brighter smile, you do not want to compromise your oral health. Fortunately, whitening is a low-risk procedure. Although it can cause some minor side effects, these are usually temporary. Proper care can further minimize these risks, so you can enjoy your newly enhanced grin. To learn more about how you can reduce teeth whitening side effects, contact our Bridgeport practice today.


Dental Sensitivity: The Most Common Whitening Side Effect

Like many patients, you may experience some slight sensitivity during or after teeth whitening. In most cases, this minor irritation will disappear a few days after your treatment. Sensitivity may be the result of increased blood flow in the soft pulp in your teeth. Although this flow will enhance the results of the whitening gel, it will also cause pressure to build up inside your teeth. In turn, this can lead to temporary, moderate discomfort. In other cases, sensitivity occurs because your pores open up during treatment. Again, this irritation will usually go away within a few days.

Reducing Sensitivity

Although sensitivity is a common side effect of teeth whitening, there are several ways that you can minimize discomfort or even reduce your risks altogether. First, it is important to choose the right whitening method. Both at-home and in-office whitening are effective. However, if you already struggle with minor sensitivity, in-office care may be a better option. Your dentist will be able to supervise your entire treatment. If needed, he can adjust the levels of peroxide in your whitening gel.

Other ways that you can minimize sensitivity include:

  • Using a sensitive-formula toothpaste
  • Applying sensitivity gel before whitening
  • Brushing before you put on your whitening tray, rather than after
  • Avoiding very hot or cold foods

Gum Irritation

Gum irritation is another common risk of teeth whitening. However, when you receive treatment at DeJesus Dental Group, you are unlikely to experience this side effect. Typically, gum sensitivity occurs when the peroxide-based whitening gel comes in contact with your soft tissues. Our dentists will take great care when creating your whitening trays. They will make sure that your trays fit securely and prevent the gel from touching your gums.

The Risks of Over-whitening

When used properly, teeth whitening products are safe and will not affect your long-term oral health. However, if you over-whiten your teeth, you can damage your dental enamel and cause significant sensitivity. Unfortunately, teeth whitening addiction is a growing problem. If you struggle with this addiction, you may experience enamel erosion and discomfort. Additionally, overuse of these products may actually make your teeth look less white, since the underlying layers of your teeth will start to show through your enamel. To protect your oral health and achieve a beautiful smile, you should only undergo whitening touch-ups according to your dentist’s instructions. In most cases, you can perform these treatments approximately every six months.

Learn More about Low-risk Whitening at DeJesus Dental Group

Schedule an appointment to learn more about the low risks of teeth whitening. Our dentists will provide a full consultation and help you choose the right cosmetic option for your smile.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Consult a qualified dental professional to determine the best dental/orthodontic treatment for your needs.