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Friday, August 14, 2020

The Dangers Of At-Home Teeth Whitening

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With the hype about teeth whitening on, the cosmetic market is flooded with products that promise to help people get pearly whites from the comfort of their homes.

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What these manufacturers don’t tell you are the dangers associated with DIY teeth whitening. Getting whiter teeth is everyone’s dream. However, if done wrong, it could lead to more problems than solutions.

If you are thinking of whitening your teeth at home, think twice; you might end up with more dental problems. It is always advisable to consult a dentist about any issue regarding your dental hygiene. Below is everything you should know about the dangers of teeth whitening, especially when done at home.

Most over-the-counter bleaches are highly acidic, which could mean danger to your teeth. Others tend to be abrasive and may take out the entire enamel, leaving you with fewer teeth than before the whitening process commences.

Another problem associated with DIY teeth whitening is stomach upset from swallowed teeth whitening substance. You might also end up with spotted teeth.

What Should Be in a Teeth Whitening Kit?

Impression Kit

For any teeth whitening to be effective, it should have a holding tray or mouth guard that goes with the user’s teeth shape. A good company should make this for you or even your dentist if you visit one for the procedure.

Whitening Gel

These products contain high doses of hydrogen peroxide, which acts as the whitening agent. You should always use it sparingly on the tray before placing it over your teeth. The excess gel should be wiped from the gum.

LED Teeth Whitening Light

This light is applied to speed up the lightening process and should be used for not less than 20 minutes for maximum effect.

Dangers of DIY Teeth Whitening

From all the cases of trouble that dentists receive, it is clear that DIY teeth whitening can do more harm than good. The biggest culprit is using excessive chemicals in an attempt to get pearly whites.

Tooth Sensitivity

There are always dangers involved with home teeth whitening attempts. One of the biggest potential risks to users is teeth sensitivity from OTC whitening gel.

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Others experience intense pain in their mouth when this gel comes into contact with gums and the tongue. Increased sensitivity can make it hard for you to eat or drink hot or cold foods or drinks.

Gum Irritation

This is another bad effect of home teeth whitening that may require bleeding gums treatment. It usually happens when the gel gets into contact with the gum. The irritation might remain for quite some time, depending on the amount of gel that leaks into the gums.

When chemical concentrations are high, it could lead to soft tissue burns and in severe cases, gum recession. With severe gum recession, you can have exposed gum, which could later lead to tooth loss.

Uneven Whiteness

This is sometimes coupled with blush enamel. You could even end up with fewer teeth instead of brighter ones.

If the chemicals do get into any cavity or cracked tooth that you may or may not know about, it could lead to severe internal pain that could eventually result in a root canal.

Although most of the damage goes away on their own after some time when you stop using these chemicals, cavities will not disappear. They will have to be filled. When people fail to stop using these chemicals, they only make things worse for themselves.


When you wear an ill-fitting holding tray, it may cause chemicals to leak during the process. If hydrogen peroxide gets into the mouth, it can cause both internal and external side effects.

You could experience general sickness from internal complications due to swallowed chemicals. The problem is always aggravated if high amounts are swallowed since they can lead to stomach, throat, and gut burns.

Mouth Infections

These usually occur due to reactions with chemicals. With mouth burns, infections are inevitable. Chemical burns leave your gums and mouth exposed to the bacteria that thrive in the oral cavity.

Users who don’t follow good oral hygiene practices are more prone to these infections since they tend to have more bacteria hibernating in their tongues and between the teeth.

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Chemical Burns

When there is no dental professional supervision, the mouth guards meant to hold the chemical in place may get dislodged, leading to chemical leaks. This could lead to mouth or skin burns. If the kit has stronger chemicals, you could suffer from severe burns.

Enamel Damage

Although most home teeth whitening kits promise instant results, they could cause irreversible effects if used from time to time.

Unlike what you might find in your dentist’s office, home kits are full of chlorine dioxide, which resembles swimming pool cleaning acid. This ingredient gives you whiter teeth by getting rid of the stains on the surface of the teeth.

Although this is meant to be good news, it also removes layers of the enamel in the process. This will definitely leave your teeth exposed, which can lead to irreversible damage.

DIY Teeth Whitening Techniques May Cause Negative Results

It should not come as a shocker to realise that some home teeth whitening treatments actually do the opposite of what they are meant to do. You might even end up with darker teeth than before.

It so happens that high amounts of hydrogen peroxide in your treatment can lead to enamel damage; this will, in turn, attract more stains and at a higher rate than normal.

Also, remember that things like red wine, coffee, tea, cola, coloured spices and types of coloured juices lead to darkened teeth.

You should realise the dangers of home teeth whitening treatments and stay away from them. If you really want to have your teeth whitened, seek professional help from a dentist. This is the only way you can save yourself from pain and end up with whiter and brighter looking teeth.

A doctor will be able to help you with the whole process and even let you know whether it is safe to undergo this procedure since it is sometimes not safe.

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Disclaimer: This article is purely informative & educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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  1. I\’m pretty sure the biggest danger of at home whitening treatments is completely wasting your money, because they don\’t work. I\’ve literally never seen a real before and after where there was a noticeable difference.


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