Can Teeth Whitening Damage My Teeth?

Teeth Whitening Gilbert, AZ

Patients interested in Teeth Whitening products and procedures may be concerned about potential damage to the teeth from using these products. Whitening products are generally safe but do carry a risk of adverse effects and tooth damage. A dental professional can explain the benefits and risks of various products and procedures.

Tooth whitening

The risks that come with tooth whitening depend upon the history of the patient and the product being used. Factors to consider when choosing a whitening option include the type of tooth discoloration being treated, age of the patient, dental history, and cost. A dental professional can assist the patient in choosing appropriate treatments for the patient's specific needs.

Options

There are numerous options available for people interested in whitening teeth. These options come in three main categories:

  1. Treatments administered in a dental professional's office
  2. Products prescribed by a dentist and applied by the patient at home
  3. Over-the-counter whitening products

Risks

The primary risks associated with teeth whitening are tooth sensitivity, gum irritation, and damage to the tooth roots. Dental professionals can mitigate these risks by assessing how likely patients are to be adversely affected by whitening procedures and suggesting treatments that may reduce tooth sensitivity.

Professional teeth whitening

There are multiple techniques dentists may choose from, but most utilize carbamide peroxide to bleach teeth. Professional whitening is considered to be a safe method to whiten teeth. 

Dental strips

Most of these products contain hydrogen or carbamide peroxide as the primary active ingredient; however, the concentration of the active ingredient is usually much lower than products used by dentists. Safety studies have demonstrated that a 10% peroxide solution can be used without any harmful effects on tooth enamel. However, some research has indicated that hydrogen peroxide may penetrate the enamel layer and damage the dentin below it.  

Products that carry the American Dental Association's Seal of Acceptance have been evaluated for safety and efficacy. Products without the seal may still be safe to use but have not been evaluated by the ADA.

Whitening toothpastes

Most whitening toothpastes rely on enzymes, such as bromelain or papain, and abrasive agents, such as baking soda, to reduce the appearance of stains. Toothpastes that rely primarily on abrasives should not be used longer than four weeks because the abrasives may damage tooth enamel. Some enzyme-based pastes may have anti-inflammatory properties that can benefit people with sensitive teeth. Additionally, because papain is non-acidic, it causes no damage to tooth enamel. 

Effects on dental work

Teeth whitening products do not cause damage to existing dental work. However, whitening products do not change the color of these restorations. Patients with existing dental work who use whitening products may need to have the restorations replaced to match the new color of the teeth. 

Conclusion

Teeth whitening products and procedures are generally considered to be safe, with the primary side effects being temporary tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. Some patients may be more prone to adverse effects than others, so evaluation by a dental professional before using whitening products can mitigate potential risks.

Are you considering teeth whitening in the Gilbert area? Get more information at https://www.scottcondiedentistry.com.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Teeth Whitening in Gilbert, AZ.

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