Tooth whitening is generally safe, but as with all medical and dental procedures, it does carry some risk. These risks are multiplied if you attempt to whiten without the supervision of a dentist, using over-the-counter products that may seem harmless but can actually cause significant damage to teeth and gums.
Excessive use of at-home whitening can result in tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. In extreme cases, it can even result in damage to the enamel. As your enamel becomes damaged, it may actually make your teeth look discolored, as it allows the yellowish dentin inside the tooth to show through.
Minor tooth sensitivity is a normal side effect of tooth whitening. It is caused by whitening products that remove blockage of the dental tubules that allow air and other substances to penetrate to the tooth pulp. However, overuse of even the more dilute concentrations of over-the-counter whitening will erode the dental enamel, which can significantly increase the exposure of your teeth to changes in temperature, and even the normal pressure of biting and chewing. Over-the-counter whiteners also have little in the way of protection for your gums. This can cause damage to the gums--they may pull back from the teeth and expose the tooth root, which can lead to pain, tooth damage, and even tooth loss.
The best way to reduce the risks of teeth whitening is to work with an experienced cosmetic dentist. A cosmetic dentist can make sure your gums are protected from exposure to the whitening compound. A cosmetic dentist can also adjust the whitening formula you use to counteract negative effects such as tooth sensitivity. Finally, a cosmetic dentist can monitor your teeth for any negative effects so you can stop or modify treatment before serious damage occurs.
To learn more about teeth whitening in Bergen County, please contact Dumont Cosmetic Dental today for an appointment.