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Are there risks associated with teeth whitening?

You should have a dental exam and x-rays by a dentist before whitening your teeth. Any decay in your teeth can be made worse with whitening. The chemicals in the whitening can cause teeth with cavities to abscess leading to pain and the possible loss of a tooth. The chemicals in the whitening can also make the teeth sensitive and the gums sore. Bleaching too much can cause the teeth to become translucent and have a gray color. Ideally, whitening should be prescribed by a dentist, and the whitening process monitored and followed by a dentist to avoid any problems.
Stephen Handisides
Health Education

Most people will experience some sensitivity either during and/or after the initial treatment with laser whitening systems. Some people who have laser whitening experience sharp shooting pains in their teeth for up to 48 hours afterwards. Your dentist may offer you a special gel or mousse to apply to your teeth to help reduce some of the pain and sensitivity. Those who have sensitive teeth are more likely to experience side effects of teeth whitening. To avoid sensitivity, you should avoid very hot or cold foods for 48 hours after treatment, and to maintain the results you should steer clear of cigarettes and teeth-staining food and drinks.

There are some common risks to be aware of when deciding to whiten your teeth. The most common of these is increased sensitivity in your teeth and the tissues of your mouth. Additionally, if you whiten your teeth on your own and do not use a properly-fitting bleach tray, there is the potential for damage to the surrounding soft tissues.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.