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Are there side effects to teeth whitening?

Are you considering changing the appearance of your teeth with whitening, but are worried about the process' potential side effects? Here, our Langley dentist shares some potential side effects that you may experience after teeth whitening procedures as well as how safe the procedure is generally and what your dentist can do to address your discomfort.

Why would I whiten my teeth?

Since teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure, it does not offer any benefits for your oral health. However, some people report that they feel more confident in their appearance if their teeth are white. Some also say that having a whiter smile encourages them to maintain a good oral hygiene routine at home. 

Our teeth may become discoloured as we age due to numerous reasons, whether as a result of eating and drinking habits, taking certain medications or smoking cigarettes. Some patients also have damage or decay occur. 

One of the ways to minimize the appearance of discolouration over time is by whitening your teeth. This procedure is safe, effective and minimally invasive. 

What are my teeth whitening options?

You can visit your dentist for professional whitening treatments or purchase over-the-counter whitening products from your pharmacy. 

The three primary whitening methods are:

  • Professional bleaching is provided in-office by your dentist (we use Spa-Dent Whitening for quick removal of stains and effective results). 
  • Professional at-home bleaching kits offered by your dentist 
  • Teeth whitening products are available over the counter, without supervision from your dentist

What are the potential side effects of teeth whitening?

Most of the side effects you may experience after a teeth whitening treatment are minor and temporary. Some common side effects include:

Irritated Gums 

The solution used to whiten your teeth may irritate your gums temporarily if they come into contact. This side effect should fade shortly after your treatment has finished.  

Sensitive Teeth 

You may notice that your teeth are more sensitive in the days following your teeth whitening treatment. This sensitivity will likely not last more than a week or two. In the meantime, your dentist may be able to recommend products containing sodium fluoride and potassium nitrate to treat the sensitivity. 

It's important to remember that teeth whitening doesn't permanently whiten your teeth. You will require touch-ups every so often if you would like to maintain the same level of whiteness. It's also important to keep in mind that whitening does not work on restorations like crowns, dentures, bridges and implants. 

Talk to your dentist about whether teeth whitening is right for you. If you have certain dental work in progress or active cavities are an issue, your dentist may recommend against this procedure. 

Teeth whitening methods that are dentist-approved are generally considered to be safe. Make sure that you speak with your dentist about your options and choose one that matches your needs. Always follow the instructions for the product and contact your dentist if you experience any side effects. 

Wondering if teeth whitening is right for you? Contact your Langley dentist to schedule a consultation today.

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