Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental procedure to brighten your smile. However, it does come with potential risks and side effects:
- Tooth Sensitivity: Teeth whitening can cause temporary increased tooth sensitivity to temperature, pressure, and touch. This is more likely if you have sensitive teeth to begin with.
- Gum Irritation: Some people may experience gum irritation or redness due to the whitening product coming in contact with the gums.
- Uneven Whitening: Fillings, crowns, and veneers do not whiten like natural teeth. So if you have any of these on your front teeth, they may stand out against your newly whitened teeth.
- Throat, Stomach and Gum Discomfort: If the whitening product is ingested, it can cause discomfort or mild nausea. Also, overuse of whiteners can also damage the tooth enamel or gums, so be sure to follow directions and talk to your dentist.
- Damage to Enamel: Overuse of whitening products can also lead to damage to the enamel, making your teeth more susceptible to cavities.
- Psychological Risks: There is also the risk of developing an unhealthy obsession with tooth color known as “bleachorexia,” where individuals develop an unhealthy obsession with whitening their teeth.
Before beginning any whitening process, it’s important to consult with a dentist. They can tell you whether teeth whitening procedures would be effective for you as whitening does not work on all teeth.