The Side Effects of Teeth Whitening

By John Meola on December 04, 2013

Boston Teeth Whitening Side EffectsIn-office and at-home whitening treatments are a fast, effective way to dramatically improve the appearance of your smile. Though whitening treatments are safe, there are some minor side effects to be aware of.  Choosing an experienced dentists like our Boston cosmetic dentists of the Dental Associates of New England is one way you can help mitigate your risk of side effects after tooth whitening treatment.

The Side Effects of Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a non-invasive treatment that can rejuvenate your smile, and it carries minimal risks. For most, any side effects from teeth whitening are generally short lived, resolving after a few days. The side effects of teeth whitening include:

  • Increased Tooth Sensitivity: Some people may experience increased tooth sensitivity following whitening treatment. Teeth whitening treatments expose the dentin layer of the teeth, which can cause increased sensitivity. Increased tooth sensitivity may not be noticed until you expose your teeth to hot or cold foods and drinks.
  • Soft Tissue or Gum Irritation: The chemicals used in teeth whitening treatments may irritate the gum tissue in some patients, leaving areas of the gum tissue white immediately following treatment. The gums tend to regain their color shortly after treatment. Gum irritation may also occur when the whitening gel comes into contact with the gums, resulting in gum inflammation, tenderness, and redness.
  • Dissatisfaction with Results: After teeth whitening treatment, some patients may not be satisfied with the results. Those with major staining or discoloration may not achieve their desired results. Over-whitening can also lead to undesirable results. Some who whiten their teeth too often may begin to notice their teeth appearing translucent or gray rather than a bright white.

Tips to Alleviate Teeth Whitening Side Effects

The side effects of teeth whitening are minimal and typically only last a few days. Using whitening treatments too frequently can increase your risk of developing tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. You can help reduce your risk of developing side effects from teeth whitening treatments by using products responsibly and as directed. If you experience gum irritation, redness, or pain, stop using teeth whitening treatments until your gums are fully healed or otherwise directed by your dentist. If you experience increased tooth sensitivity after teeth whitening, try these tips to help reduce your symptoms:

  • Use sensitivity reducing toothpaste: Using toothpaste designed to reduce dental sensitivity can help reduce the symptoms of sensitive teeth.
  • Switch to a soft bristled toothbrush: Soft bristled toothbrushes help keep essential minerals and enamel intact. A hard bristled toothbrush can be too abrasive and strip your teeth of the protective enamel layer, leaving your teeth vulnerable to increased sensitivity.
  • Avoid hot and cold foods and beverages: Eating and drinking hot and cold foods can worsen the symptoms of dental sensitivity.

Schedule a Consultation Today!

Teeth whitening is a safe, quick procedure that can transform your smile and rejuvenate your appearance. Most patients will not experience any side effects following teeth whitening. Any side effects that may result are minimal and tend to last no more than one to three days. To find out more about teeth whitening or to learn about other restorative treatments, we invite you to schedule a consultation at the Dental Associates of New England today!

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