Teeth whitening is more accessible than ever. There are endless over-the-counter systems including strips, trays and toothpastes that make the ease of getting a bright white smile pretty tempting. But how much is too much? While the appearance of a glowing hollywood smile can insinuate you have healthy teeth, the truth is, serious damage can be hiding beneath it all. Let’s take a look at some of the risks associated with overzealous teeth whitening…
Enamel Erosion can occur as a result of too much exposure to the ingredients found in teeth whitening products. Of all risks associated with whitening your teeth, enamel erosion could be considered the worst. With enamel erosion, this increases the risk of tooth decay as well as other oral problems including darker teeth and sensitivity. Enamel is so important to protect, because once it is gone– there is no getting it back. Enamel works much like armor or a shield for your teeth, and once it is gone, your teeth are left more susceptible to cavities, stains, and sensitivity.
Eventually, the more you whiten your teeth the quicker your enamel begins to diminish. When this happens, your teeth can appear more translucent, resulting in a darker looking smile. This is due to the inner tooth becoming more visible.
Tooth sensitivity is accompanied by enamel loss. As we mentioned above, your enamel works as the outer defense for your teeth. The less you have, the more sensitive your smile will be to hot and cold foods – as well as damage that comes with the loss of protection. When your teeth are sensitive, it can make it more difficult to enjoy the simple pleasures of day to day life. Because enamel is irreplaceable, it’s imperative that you try your best to maintain it.
Gum irritation is a common result of overdoing it with teeth whitening products. Your gums are already sensitive – and when you begin introducing recurring amounts of teeth whitening ingredients upon them, they can become sensitive too. Not to mention, if you leave these whitening products on your teeth for too long, this can result in blanching of the gums– a condition where your gums turn white for a period of time.
Professional Teeth Whitening
Even though there are side effects to teeth whitening, you should not let this stop you – it simply means you should proceed with caution! DIY teeth whitening is a simple and effective way to keep your smile shining bright year round, but like many other things in life, sometimes it is better to leave it to the professionals!
If you are interested in brightening your smile, we encourage you to schedule a professional teeth whitening with your dentist during your regular cleanings! Doing this is a great opportunity to ensure the health of your teeth, while maintaining a glowing, confident smile at the same time!