Is It Safe to Whiten Teeth?

Posted on: April 2, 2018

There is plenty of talk as to whether the methods available to whiten teeth are actually safe.  Some argue at-home DIY teeth whitening products are particularly risky. Others argue all teeth whitening methods pose a risk.

Below, we separate the truth from the lies to provide readers with a clear understanding of whether teeth whitening poses any sort of meaningful risk.

Teeth Whitening Safety

Scientists and dentists have evaluated numerous teeth whitening methods throughout the years.  The results show teeth whitening solutions are generally safe. Yet there is the potential for some minor side effects.  The bleaching ingredient used in the majority of teeth whitening products is known as carbamide peroxide.

In general, the most susceptible portions of the mouth during teeth whitening processes include the teeth, gums and dental restorations.  If bleach reaches the gums, it can cause irritation. However, if the individual uses special protection to guard the gums and roots, the bleach will not cause any damage. Some patients who undergo teeth whitening complain of sensitive teeth for the next day or two. However, some such patients already suffer from sensitive teeth in the first place.

A couple of cases show the bleaching agent that whitens teeth can impact dental amalgam.  These silver fillings have the potential to release mercury after sustaining damage. However, this mercury is not a threat to your health. Thankfully, there is no need to worry about teeth whitening in relation to white fillings. Such fillings have the potential to become even lighter in hue and not sustain any damage when you whiten your teeth.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Teeth whitening solutions feature hydrogen peroxide.  Clinical data shows whitening solutions are safe, especially when they use 10 percent of carbamide peroxide.  However, there is some concern that hydrogen peroxide has the potential to release free radicals and produce carcinogenic effects. None of the initial studies are conclusive.  The question is whether the absence of proof means danger is also absent.

What About Potential Damage to the Teeth?

Certain studies show slight alterations to the surface of tooth enamel following teeth whitening sessions.  These alterations ranged from slight erosion to minor etching, demineralization and shallow depressions. However, these findings were primarily applicable to instances in which a particularly high percentage of carbamide peroxide was used in the teeth whitening solution.

The little-known truth about teeth whiteners is they are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as they are not officially categorized as drugs. This is precisely why you should rely on your dentist to whiten teeth.

Your dentist's teeth whitening solutions are proven to work.  It is quite the contrast to the alleged teeth whitening products you can pick up at the local store.  Your dentist has performed the due diligence necessary to select safe and efficient teeth whitening solutions.

Furthermore, your dentist will be able to provide you with a customized tray for teeth whitening.  Custom-fitted teeth whitening trays reduce risk by keeping the bleaching component away from the gums and other tissues in the mouth.

Please call A+ Dentistry today at (734) 495-9468!


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