The procedure of whitening teeth is becoming more popular these days. It’s been commercially available for quite a few years now and it’s getting cheaper with every year that passes. More and more people are having it done because it’s such a quick and easy fix to make ourselves look better.
After all, who doesn’t want a bright and shiny smile? Yellow, stained and discolored teeth are universally regarded as a sign of aging. Nobody wants to look old, so most people are more than happy to shell out a few hundred bucks in order to have a shinier smile. We all like to look in the mirror and see a nice row of pearly whites glaring back at us.
But a lot of people get scared when they hear about this treatment. They’d like to have it done, but they can’t get the fear of side effects of teeth whitening out of their heads. As with any cosmetic enhancement treatment, there are risks involved with teeth whitening. You run the biggest risk of doing something wrong when you are using whitening kits for home usage. A professional dentist will likely treat you in a very safe manner. But even professionals can have a bad day and screw things up for you.
Teeth Whitening Side Effects
The most common side effect of this treatment is the damaging of the teeth’s enamel. The enamel is a protective layer that covers our teeth. It is very thin and naturally it is almost completely transparant. The stains that make our teeth yellow are colored molecules that pile up in the enamel over time. It is inside of the enamel where these colored molecules need to be broken down.
Unfortunately, the enamel itself also gets damaged when teeth are whitened. This is because there is a very aggressive chemical called hydrogen peroxide involved in the whitening process. When used in safe concentrations, it will do only slight damage to the enamel. The enamel can then repair itself. But if the enamal gets damaged too much, it cannot regenerate anymore. Your teeth will then be permanently more sensitive and painful.
Other side effects are irritation of the gums, also caused by hydrogen peroxide. When you swallow some of the hydrogen peroxide, it can cause a sore throat, headaches and tingling of the tissues inside the mouth. These last few side effects are all temporary. It’s the enamel damage that you really need to be cautious about.
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