Teeth Whitening - Does it Cause Damage to Teeth

Teeth whitening is a simple process, and if done right it is safe and does not damage teeth. The objective to whitening your teeth is to put the shine back in your smile. Whitening products contain one of two tooth bleaches (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide). The bleach acts on the tooth enamel by breaking the stain into smaller pieces making your teeth brighter. The bleach does change the color of your teeth, it only removes the stain on the surface. 

Before you go out and get your teeth bleached talk to your dentist. The chances are that your dentist or his/her dental hygienist performs one of several types of teeth whiting treatments. It's wise to have your dentist perform any and all treatments on your teeth, including whitening. 

We recommend that if you do have your teeth whitened make sure that you use an ADA-accepted product. Also, be aware that overuse of whiteners can damage your teeth's enamel and gums. Again, it's wise to go through your dentist for teeth whitening.

Three Most Common and Popular Teeth Whitening Options 

Whitening Toothpastes: We do not recommend this option. All toothpaste contain mild abrasives that scrub the teeth. Some of these chemicals are harmful and toxic. Whitening toothpaste uses harsh chemicals as polishing agents for the purpose of removal stains. Unlike bleaches, these types of 

In-Office Bleaching: This procedure is called chairside bleaching and usually requires only one office visit. Your dentist will apply either a protective gel to your gums or a rubber shield used as a protective device. Bleach is then applied to your teeth. A laser might also be used to enhance the action of the whitening agent.

At-Home Bleaching:  Peroxide-containing whiteners bleach the tooth enamel. They typically come in a gel and are placed in a tray that fits on your teeth. You may also use a whitening strip that sticks to your teeth. The concentration of the bleaching agent is lower than what your dentist would use in the office.


Are There Any Side Effects from Teeth Whitening?

Some people experience tooth sensitivity using teeth whiteners.  Sometimes the peroxide in the whitener gets through the enamel and reaches the soft layer of dentin under the enamel. When this happens it can cause irritation to your tooth's nerve. Fortunately, the sensitivity is only temporary.