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Are there any side effects to teeth whitening?

Are you considering changing the appearance of your teeth and wondering if there are any side effects to teeth whitening? In this post, our North Vancouver dentist lists potential side effects you might experience, along with how safe the procedure is in general and which measures you can take to address any discomfort. 

Why would I whiten my teeth?

Teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure and therefore does not offer any oral health benefits. That said, many people find they feel more confident when smiling with white teeth. Revealing a brighter, white smile can encourage you to eep up with an excellent at-home oral hygiene routine. 

Our teeth can become discoloured as we age due to many reasons, whether as a result of drinking and eating habits, smoking cigarettes or taking certain medications. Sometimes, damage or decay can also contribute to discolouration. 

One way to keep discolouration from seriously impacting the look of your smile is to whitening your teeth. The procedure is safe, minimally invasive and typically effective when done or supervised by a dentist. 

What are my teeth whitening options?

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

The two main whitening methods are:

  • Professional at-home bleaching kits offered by your dentist 
  • Over-the-counter teeth whitening products, used without supervision from your dentist 

What are potential side effects of teeth whitening?

Most side effects you might experience from teeth whitening are minor and temporary. Common side effects are:

Sensitive Teeth

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

Irritated Gums 

Your gums may feel irritated temporarily if they gum into contact with the teeth whitening solution. Any irritation will likely fade away shortly after your treatment. 

Note that teeth whitening does not whiten your teeth permanently — you'll need touchups every so often. Also remember that teeth whitening does not work on restorations such as crowns, dentures, bridges and implants. 

Speak to your dentist about whether teeth whitening is right for you. If active cavities are an issue or dental work is in progress, your dentist may recommend against this procedure. Dentist-approved teeth whitening methods are considered safe. Discuss your options with your dentist and pick the one that most closely matches your needs. Always follow instructions for the product you're using and contact your dentist if you notice any side effects. 

Wondering if you are a candidate for teeth whitening? We can help. Talk to your dentist at Seymour Dental Centre and schedule a consultation today!

(604) 924-8289