Is Teeth Whitening Safe?
Teeth whitening is a standard dental procedure. Many people desire bright teeth, so they seek out teeth whitening treatments. Keep in mind that some individuals are uneasy about the effects of bleaching agents. So, is whitening your teeth safe?
Teeth whitening procedures are evaluated often and reformulated so that oral hygiene professionals are aware of the results of these products. Over the years, the effects of both in-office treatments and at home products have significantly improved.
According to the American Dental Association, carbamide peroxide is a common bleaching ingredient in teeth whitening products because it yields hydrogen peroxide.
Dental professionals who assist in manufacturing these products work hard to ensure that teeth whitening treatments are both beneficial and safe to use. Despite their hard work, there are minor side-effects that may occur when using teeth whitening products.
The three areas of concern after treatment are the teeth themselves, the gums, and dental restorations. Side effects may vary depending on the region itself and the type of treatment received.
Many individuals prefer in-office whitening treatments over at-home products as it brings them peace of mind that dentists perform treatments correctly. The concentration of bleach is higher in dental office procedures than at-home methods. Dentists use a lamp designed for teeth whitening, providing fast results and a brighter smile.
Irritation may occur if bleach comes in contact with the gums. There is a higher risk of irritation the higher the bleach concentration. Offices use protective measures on your roots and gums to shield them from the bleach. Any issues that occur usually heal with time after removing the bleach from the irritated area.
There are two types of at home methods: a dentist-prescribed system or an over-the-counter product. Dentist-prescribed systems involve custom-made mouthpieces and gel. Over-the-counter products come in several forms such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, trays, and traps.
A normal side-effect is tooth sensitivity, due to the bleaching agent or already sensitive teeth. There are plenty of people who suffer from tooth sensitivity, which may make teeth whitening treatments difficult to bear.
There are products designed to protect the enamel and lower the sensitivity of your teeth. Keep in mind that there is also a potential risk of sensitivity if your teeth occasionally react to extreme temperatures. Teeth sensitivity does not last long.
If you have broken fillings or decaying teeth, you may experience more discomfort that lasts awhile.
Lastly, a few cases suggested that bleach may affect dental amalgam, also known as silver fillings. It caused the silver fillings to release mercury.
Many practices discontinued this type of restoration, despite The Academy of General Dentistry stating that it is not a concerning health issue as dental amalgam is benign in mercury content. Bleach also does not damage other restorations such as implants and crowns. There is no professional concern over bleach’s effect on fillings that are white.
Salons and spas may also offer teeth whitening services; however, it is best to visit a trustworthy dental office.
Your dentist conducts an exam before performing a teeth whitening procedure. A dentist takes note of broken or decayed teeth and any sensitivity, to fix teeth before the treatment. If you suffer from sensitive teeth, your dentist may prescribe a high concentration of fluoride before bleaching.
So, Is Teeth Whitening Safe?