Is Teeth Whitening Dangerous?

Beauty in Seattle on 14 Aug 2006 at 12:00am

Who doesn’t want a dazzling, brighter, whiter smile? But if you’re like me, maybe you’ve wondered if there’s any danger in whitening your teeth. The answer is no.

Not if it’s done properly. Unfortunately there are those who take it too far, using over the counter teeth whitening products every day instead of once or twice a year or at recommended intervals.

The quest for whiter teeth has resulted in a whole new class of people dubbed “Bleachorexics”, men and women who have become psychologically dependent or addicted to bleaching their teeth to get them whiter and whiter. The problem is, they are damaging their gums and teeth in the process. Instead of pearly whites, you may end up with translucent blues if too much of the tooth enamel is eaten away by the hydrogen peroxide or hydrogen carbamide. Gums can bleed, turn purple, and eventually recede, none of which makes for a great smile.

But don’t let this scare you off. Dentists and the American, British, and Australian Dental Associations all say that teeth whitening is a safe and effective procedure as long as it is carried out in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions for the product.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to restore your teeth back to their original color, but if your teeth weren’t that perfect shade of white (in your mind) to begin, teeth whitening of any sort will not make them that way. And overdoing it will only hurt.