The risks associated with teeth whitening are relatively insignificant, but there are still some important factors our Surrey dentists want patients to keep in mind when they are considering this cosmetic dental procedure.
“Teeth whitening” and “teeth bleaching” do not mean exactly the same thing
Teeth whitening is a broad term that applies to all methods of making your teeth appear whiter. Teeth whitening can be done with a number of teeth cleaning agents, or over the counter products.
Teeth bleaching, then, is a type of whitening which involves using hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide as the whitening agent. It makes the colour of the teeth themselves lighter.
Because teeth whitening encompasses teeth bleaching, these terms are often used interchangeably.
Most over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments are safe when procedures are followed as directed. However, there are a few relatively minor risk associated with bleaching that you should make note of.
Sometimes, bleaching agents can cause temporarily tooth sensitivity, particularly to temperatures. Some people experience a spontaneous pain down the centre of their front teeth.
Sensitivity after teeth whitening usually fades away after a few days.
More than half the people who use peroxide-based whitening systems experience a mild degree of gum irritation as a result of the bleach concentration, or from contact with the trays.
Gum irritation can last for several days after the bleaching process is complete.
Problems with Restorations
Teeth bleaching products will not have any whitening effect on dental restorations, such as dental crowns, fillings, or veneers. If you have a restoration and try to whiten your teeth, the restoration will stay the same colour.
To prevent this from becoming an issue, many people choose to undergo a course of teeth whitening before their dental restoration procedures.