Virtually everyone wishes that their teeth were at least a little whiter and brighter. This is because white smiles are considered the epitome of attractiveness, health, happiness, and success. While whiter teeth can’t necessarily guarantee you any of these things, what it can do is boost your confidence and self-esteem, empowering you to grab your life with both hands and make every opportunity count. This can lead to a positive effect in all areas of your life, from your career to your personal relationships.
With such affirmative associations, it is unsurprising that teeth whitening is the most popular elective dental treatment in the world. Countless products claim to be able to improve the color of your teeth so that they look healthier and more attractive but shifting stubborn stains such as coffee and nicotine that have accumulated over years is far from simple using these. Over-the-counter products contain low concentrations of bleach and must be used consistently for weeks or months at a time to see any noticeable improvement in your tooth color. Even then, the results are short-lived unless you carry on with your treatment indefinitely.
Professional, in-office teeth whitening is, without doubt, the most superior option. Carried out in your dentist’s office using professional-grade bleaching agents, it delivers the most accurate, consistent, effective and long-lasting results over fewer treatment sessions. However, with reports suggesting that whitening can have an impact on the health and condition of your teeth, some patients are reluctant to schedule their professional in-office whitening experience. Nevertheless, teeth whitening is considered to be extremely safe. To help you feel reassured, here is what you need to know about some of the side effects that you can experience after your teeth whitening procedure.
Teeth Can Become Sensitive After Whitening
By far the most common side effect of any teeth whitening procedure is sensitivity. This occurs because when the bleaching agent is absorbed by the enamel of your teeth, it can expose some of the nerves in the dentin beneath it. When these nerves come into contact with something that it particularly hot, cold or sweet, it can cause a short, sharp pain to occur. This is usually temporary, and many patients choose to simply avoid food and drink of extreme temperatures or sweetness for around a week after their whitening procedure. You can also help avoid this problem by choosing whitening services that use lower peroxide levels and shorter application times.
Your Gums May Become Sore if Proper Precautions Aren’t Taken
Our gums are an extremely sensitive, blood-rich part of our body. This makes them hypersensitive to any sort of irritation. Unfortunately, the chemicals used to bleach teeth and make them whiter are highly irritating to various types of soft tissue, including the gums. As you might imagine, trying to apply the whitening gel to your own teeth can be tricky and messy at best, resulting in a lot of the chemical getting into your mouth and gums. Fortunately, when you choose professional teeth whitening, your dentist will use specialist equipment to protect as much exposed soft tissue as possible. They will also have unique access to your teeth in order to apply the whitening gel carefully and consistently. This limits the effect it will have on your gums.
There Have Been Concerns About the Use of Whitening Ingredients and Amalgam Restorations
In the past, there have been some instances whereby concerns have been raised about the ability of bleaching agents to affect amalgam restorations, triggering the release of mercury. Many people now choose to have their amalgam restorations replaced with tooth-colored varieties instead. However, the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) has discovered that there are no viable health issues associated with whitening procedures being performed on patients with amalgam fillings.
If you are interested in having your teeth whitened but are still concerned about the effects that the process may have on the health of your smile, our expert team will be happy to advise and reassure you. Contact Robert Hawke, DDS in Tucson, South Arizona today to speak to us 520-224-1600.