The Hazards of Do It Yourself Teeth Whitening



No matter how seemingly easy and safe the advertisements indicate, “Do It Yourself” teeth whitening could cause unanticipated problems for you. Billions of dollars are spent every year by consumers on products for teeth. Currently, toothpastes that bleach teeth have obtained more popularity than any other option. When it comes to teeth whitening, doing this yourself can be hazardous. Below are a few side effects of DIY teeth whitening.


Common Concern: Over Use of Teeth Whitening Kits

Teeth Whitening Kits are not necessarily unsafe, but they can be if used improperly. With more and more problems reported to dentists from DIY teeth whitening kits, one thing is becoming quite clear. One true problem of DIY teeth whitening is that overusing these chemicals in the pursuit of bleached perfection can lead to sensitive teeth and swollen gums.


Huge concern: Teeth Sensitivity

One of the primary problems we hear complaints about from patients involve excessive teeth sensitivity. For example, one survey of one hundred people done by the University of Southern California, School of Dentistry, revealed that half of the participants experienced sensitivity after using a whitening gel that was available over the counter. That is half of all of those surveyed! And, one out of twenty five participants experienced severe pain in the mouth.


Most Concerning Danger: Gum Irritation

Other side effects of DIY teeth whitening include uneven whitening, blush enamel and gum irritation. One of the more serious problems that may occur concerns the seeping of the chemicals into unfilled cavities that users may not have known they had. Or the chemicals may seep into cracked teeth. The internal painful damage can lead to a root canal. The damage that teeth whitening products that you do yourself tend to go away after a time, except for the cavities, as long as you discontinue the chemical use.

The danger arises when people do not really stop using them when there are clear signs that they should. One common complaint is that after a teeth whitening product is used, teeth do not remain white for long. The teeth begin going back to the color they used to be after a short while. This is particularly true with coffee drinkers, wine drinkers or smokers, which all involve substances that stain teeth easily.


What Are Some Safe Alternatives?

Whether you are planning to have your teeth whitened with a dentist or plan to do this yourself, it is a good idea to discuss your plans with your dentist. When it comes to teeth whitening, you might want to seriously consider professional rather than home options. The reason for this is that your dentists would likely have the latest and safest teeth whitening method that last longer than the DIY versions. Plus, you may not be familiar with the way DIY teeth whitening works, and may not be happy with the results. When you go through teeth whitening with your dentist you can rest assured that you are in capable, expert hands with years of teeth whitening experienced behind them. This keeps your choppers safe while at the same time ensures that you have the whitest, brightest smile possible! When you turn to professional teeth whitening options, the bottom line is that you know that it will be done safely, under the closest supervision and with the best results.

Dr. Adrian Guerra explains that even if patients prefer to use at home treatments, it’s best to consult a dentist first and most importantly, to know when enough is enough: Over bleached teeth can appear translucent and make teeth more porous. Therefore, if you bleach for too long and then have a glass of red wine or grape juice, it can actually make your teeth darker than they were when you started.

And, let’s face it, who wants that?

Before you decide to whiten your teeth, here are some issues to consider:


First and foremost: What does your dentist advise? Not all stains can be lightened by over-the-counter or professional bleaching, and at AMG Dental Group, Dr. Adrian Guerra will be able to give you guidance. If you have sensitive teeth, gum disease or teeth with worn enamel, Dr. Guerra may discourage tooth whitening.


Should you have professional treatment vs using an at-home bleaching system? Bleaching can be performed by your dentist in the office or at home. (The Academy of General Dentistry recommends dentist supervision for any whitening treatment, even over-the-counter preparations.) Although over-the-counter treatments can cost less, they may require a longer treatment period, and the risks of gum irritation or damage to previous dental work are increased as noted in the blog. If you want quicker and more reliable results, you should ask Dr. Guerra about in-office whitening or laser whitening. In-office whitening may require more than one visit to the dental office. Results from a dentist-supervised whitening procedure can last anywhere from one to five years (depending on your eating, drinking or smoking habits).


Whether or not you decide to whiten your teeth, keep in mind that good daily oral health habits like brushing and flossing and regular checkups and cleanings go far in keeping your smile bright and healthy:


By listening carefully, communicating clearly, and asking the right questions, Dr. Guerra can fully assess the many variables unique to your teeth whitening needs. Effective cosmetic dentistry consultations ensure complete patient satisfaction. If this is your first visit, you’ll discover that our skilled and friendly members work to make you comfortable. Your amazing smile begins with an exam and consultation at AMG Dental Group; give us a call at 561-844-6146.