The Risk of Teeth Whitening at Home

At-home teeth whitening treatments are used by a lot of people. Such medicines if prolonged, can cause various dental issues. Therefore, it is essential to consult a dentist. 

by Hiba Batool

 Do you want to achieve a perfect smile, like everybody else? But do you realize that it could come at a cost? Excessive teeth whitening can harm your teeth for the worst. 

The recent obsession with pearly white teeth has led to various at-home and clinical whitening tools and techniques. 

At-home teeth whitening treatments have been trending on social media sites for a while, and people are blindly following the trend. Little do they know that there are potential risks of teeth whitening too.

The natural colour of the teeth is light yellow. So, it might be that you don’t need a whitening treatment at all. The outermost covering of a tooth called enamel, has a white hue, whereas the underlying dentin is yellow. This makes the natural appearance of teeth to be a little yellow. So, if you’re aiming to bleach your teeth to be chalk white, you shouldn’t. 

Moreover, such treatments are teeth bleaching treatments; they can only lighten your teeth by a few shades. So, it might not be a good option for you if you have brown or grey teeth.

Available treatments options

Several teeth whitening techniques and tools have taken over the market. From professional office-based whitening to simple whitening toothpaste, you can opt for any option that suits you.

A professional dentist does clinical teeth whitening with intricately designed procedures, tailored to the customers’ needs. The doctors use peroxide (a bleaching agent) to bleach your teeth or a bleaching agent with heat or laser light. The latter provides quicker results.

At-home whitening treatments include teeth whitening kits and teeth whitening strips. These contain a less dilute and less abrasive form of bleaching chemicals. 

Such treatments usually take a lot more time to show results than clinical therapies do. Typical whitening toothpaste is also a simple form, but these take an immense amount of time to deliver results.

Risks of at-home teeth whitening procedures

 Teeth whitening, like any other medical procedure, requires professional skill and attention. Over the counter products, although opted for by many, fail to show satisfactory results. 

These take a lot of time to show even the slightest results. Usually, such treatments require to be used daily. Daily unmonitored exposure to bleaching agents can deteriorate your dental health. Excessive use of such products without professional advice and supervision can pose the following risks

  • Gum irritation: Unlike clinical treatments, home-based treatments lack the option for tailoring your gum guards. The given gum guards might not fit you perfectly, and the bleaching chemicals may leach out, bleaching your gums too.
  • Increased tooth sensitivity: The bleaching agents used in such products may harm your teeth’ enamel and dentin. Overuse of these products can cause tooth sensitivity; discomfort and pain after something hot or cold touch the teeth.
  • Loss of enamel: Enamel being the protective covering, prevents the tooth from decaying. So, enamel damage will put you at a greater risk of tooth decay.

Is it safe to use teeth whitening kits?

 It is wise to consult a dentist before starting any whitening procedure. Using such treatments on your own might harm your dental health. It is better to consult a professional and get your dental health tested before deciding on a treatment option.

Guest Author Bio: The author is a medical researcher and writer at Marham. She has written various medical blogs for the site and has also worked as a freelance writer. 

January 9, 2021

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