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What are the side effects of teeth whitening?

I have yellow teeth and would like them to be whiter but i am afraid the teeth whitening gel will damage my teeth. Is it safe to use?

7 Answers

Yellow teeth while psychologically distracting are otherwise a natural function of maturity. With age, the teeth naturally darken. Whitening teeth with bleaching gels can be of value in lightening up teeth by several shades. All modern bleaching gels contain an organic form of peroxide gel. They vary according to their percentage. As you can imagine, a greater strength of peroxide gel will be more potentially caustic to the teeth and gums. In my experience, gels over 20% will often cause a burning sensation to the gums and cause tooth sensitivity for a time. I say "often" because some people don't seem to get significant burning or sensitivity. My best advice here is to seek out a lower percentage organic bleach (my office uses 14% bleach) and see if it gives you a result you can be happy with. If not, then opt to try a higher percentage bleach. I've seen bleaches as high as 35% on the market.
Pain in lower front teeth.
It is not harmful if done correctly, but it can make your teeth sensitive.
I'm afraid that slick marketing has gotten ahead of thorough grounded research when it comes to tooth whitening and the long-term effects of applying caustic acids do the surfaces of enamel when they are surrounded by delicate tissues of the mouth and especially when out for Violet lights are used to intensify the experience in the name of 1 hour visit and 10 Shades Improvement. There has to be a trade-off somewhere for what is healthy for the patients dentition. It is possible that damage can occur when patients take home their kits and think if a little bit of the additive is good, a whole lot is better and they do not follow instructions properly or overuse the product in an effort to get piano white teeth. The best rule of thumb is to follow the instructions and get an ADA approved whitening kit which can be purchased at any drugstore and experiment with it very carefully. If this does not yield the results you want consult a dentist for his supervision during the course of professional whitening done in his or her office. Then you can't go wrong.
Whitening will not cause permanent damage to your teeth. At worst they might become temporarily hypersensitive. If that happens, then stop whitening for a night or two and then use the whitening gels for less time.
Whitening products are very safe on enamel and best used under supervision from a dentist or a dental hygienist. Shopping mall kiosks are not safe places. Over the counter products are safe due to the mild concentration on the bleaching agent used. Transient sensitivity to temperature is common immediately after whitening and is not a cause of concern.
All bleach formulations that are FDA approved are safe to use. The only real side effects are some temperature sensitivities. These are not experienced by most people, but they are also not uncommon. They usually resolve after stopping the bleaching process. In our office we prefer to use the at-home bleach procedure exactly for this reason. The patient has full control of how often and how long to use the bleach. There are also desensitizing agents available to help with those who may develop some temperature sensitivity. Otherwise, there are really no other known side effects that are detrimental. You should not hesitate to bleach your teeth under the supervision of a dentist.