Patients with tooth discoloration and stains can greatly benefit from teeth whitening, and while it’s very safe and effective when performed by a dental professional, there are still potential side effects to remember. With a better understanding of the teeth whitening process and realistic expectations of results, patients can feel more confident in their cosmetic dentistry choices.
Safety of in-office teeth whitening
The side effects of teeth whitening treatments aren’t serious, but they can be bothersome if you’re not prepared. In-office whitening treatments are very safe as the dentist takes precautions to protect the health of your teeth and gums, but at-home treatments don’t have the same assurances. Before using any at-home teeth whitening treatments, consult with your dentist to ensure that it’s safe for your specific oral health. The most common side effect from teeth whitening is tooth sensitivity with the potential for gum irritation, but these and other symptoms should only last a few days after treatment.
Dealing with tooth sensitivity from whitening treatments
Dentinal tubes are minute pores located in the dentin layer of your teeth, which is located just under the top enamel layer. These dentinal tubes sometimes react with the bleaching solution used in teeth whitening and this leads to tooth sensitivity in some patients. The dentinal tubes can become extra sensitive after exposure to the whitening gel, which makes contact with cold or hot food and drink uncomfortable for 2-3 days. Consuming lukewarm or room-temperature food and drinks can reduce this discomfort as can brushing your teeth and rinsing using lukewarm water instead of cold.
Preventing and treating gum irritation from teeth whitening
Gum irritation following teeth whitening is rarer than tooth sensitivity, but it does happen. The cause of gum irritation is teeth whitening gel coming in contact with gum tissue instead of remaining on the teeth surfaces. This contact can lead to soreness and irritation of the gums and this may last 2-3 days. During professional teeth whitening from your dentist, they supervise the process to make sure that the whitening gel doesn’t contact your gums and cause irritation. When using an at-home teeth-whitening kit, follow all instructions carefully, and if the gel contacts your gums, quickly wipe it away with a cotton swab to minimize the chances of irritation.
Find the best teeth whitening option for your specific oral needs by contacting Creative Dental. We offer safe, in-office teeth whitening treatment including one-hour teeth whitening for your fast-paced life.