Teeth whitening, especially when supervised by a dentist, is a safe and effective procedure with very few long-term risks. In most cases, side effects and other issues are caused by improper use of the whitening product or excessive whitening. Of the possible teeth whitening side effects, the most common is temporary dental sensitivity. You can minimize your risk by consulting with a dentist before beginning treatment and following instructions carefully.
Potential Long-Term Risks
- Permanent gum or tooth sensitivity
- Damage to your dental roots
- Enamel erosion
- Uneven results
- Damage to the mucous membranes in your mouth
Temporary Side Effects
For most patients, sensitivity dissipates within a few days of treatment. While there is no way to predict who may develop the condition, some patients face a higher risk for post-whitening sensitivity. You are more likely to experience this side effect if you:
- Already have sensitive teeth
- Notice changes in the sensitivity of your teeth following a hygienic cleaning
- Experience sensitivity following brushing, flossing, or fluoride treatments
Your dentist can recommend techniques to minimize sensitivity for future treatments. Gentle cleansing products and toothpastes can manage and decrease discomfort. Some dentists also offer desensitizing products for whitening patients. If you experience irritation, you should abstain from touch-up treatments until otherwise instructed by your dentist.
Another common side effect associated with teeth whitening is gum irritation. This condition may result from:
- Using an ill-fitting bleaching tray
- Failure of the protective barrier during in-office treatment
- Overuse of a whitening agent
When designed correctly, at-home whitening trays prevent the bleaching gel from coming into contact with your gum tissue. Your dentist can create a custom-made tray to reduce the chance of irritation.
Minimizing Your Risks
- American College of Prosthodontics (ACP)
- Academy of Osseointegration (AO)
- International Team for Implantology (ITI)
Visit Our Top-Rated Office
Are you looking for a dental practice you can trust to provide high-quality care? Our office is regularly rated five stars for the professional and friendly care we provide to our patients. To meet with one of our dentists and start your dental crown process, fill out our online form to request your consultation. You can also contact us by calling our office, serving Cary and Raleigh, NC, at: