Have you ever noticed someone smiling and thinking to yourself…Wow, those are some seriously bright pearly whites! How do they get their teeth so white! I have to be honest, I’ve tried those teeth whitening kits that you can buy over the counter, but I’ve never made it past 2-3 treatments and here’s why.
With the emphasis placed on beauty and outward appearances in our society, teeth whitening procedures is gaining popularity for some people. In an effort to make teeth whiter, some people turn to teeth whitening treatments. Teeth whitening products are available over-the-counter and at a dentist office. The active ingredient in these products is usually either hydrogen peroxide or carbamine peroxide. Regardless of the active ingredient of the teeth whitening systems, there are dangers to consider before starting a program.
Teeth Whitening And Sensitivity:
Heightened tooth sensitivity is another danger that may result from teeth whitening. This sensitivity tends to cause pain and discomfort when you eat hot, cold or very sweet foods. This is usually a temporary danger. If your bleaching treatments cause sensitivity, your dentist can give you a desensitizing gel to apply a few minutes before each treatment, or just after.
Teeth Whitening And Oral Cancer:
Bruce Davidson, MD, FACS, chairman of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at a Washington, D.C., hospital, says there may be a possible link between teeth whiteners and oral cancer, which affects the tongue and other soft tissues of the mouth. In a statement on the safety of teeth whiteners, the American Dental Association cites two reported cases of tongue cancer in patients who did not have any identifiable risk factors for cancer. The statement indicates, however, that no other studies have been conducted that show a link between teeth bleaching and cancer.
Teeth Whitening And Irritation:
The hydrogen peroxide or carbamine peroxide used in teeth whitening products are strong, reactive chemicals that may produce side effects such as burning, ulcers or other sores to the soft tissues on the inside of the mouth (oral mucosa) on contact. This is the most common side effect of teeth whitening. The degree of damage depends on how sensitive you are, as well as on how concentrated the bleaching gel is and how long you are exposed to it.
That said, the greatest danger of exposing your mouth to peroxide burns occurs when people use over the counter teeth whitening products with mouthpiece or tray that often does not fit properly, thus causing some of the solution to ooze out. Many users end up with minor gum irritations or burns in their mouths. Fortunately, such irritations or sores will usually heal within a few days, although some people can suffer for weeks.
For teeth whitening safety and to avoid the risks of peroxide leakage, always use ADA or FDA approved teeth whitening kits or go for in-office teeth whitening procedures that use custom-fitted dental trays to ensure that none of the chemicals come into contact with your soft tissues. This way, you are most unlikely to experience any mouth irritation.
Teeth Whitening And Enamel Damage:
Some teeth-whitening kits used at home contain acids in their active ingredients. Using these kits too often may damage the enamel of the teeth over time. If teeth whitening is performed at home, all instructions should be followed to reduce the risk of damaging the enamel.
So, what precautions do you need to take in order to prevent these dangers? Well, #1 would be to not even use these over the counter products, but if you have to, the first thing that is recommended is that you must have the procedure done with the help of a dentist. He/She will use the right technique, chemicals and products. Sometimes, teeth are extremely stained or discolored. In that case, it does not produce any noticeable effect. A dentist will help you decide whether you should go for teeth whitening or not. There are products available for use after completing a teeth whitening procedure.
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