When Do White Gums Return to Normal Color After Teeth Whitening?

When gums become white and sore after the teeth whitening procedure, how long will it take to heal or return to pink again?

Doctor Answers 10

Two Ways To Keep Gum Irritation To A Minimum When Bleaching

It is common for gum tissue to get irritated following a bleaching procedure.  The tissue of the affected area will typically turn white before changing to a red appearance the next day.  The tissue is usually back to normal with 48-72 hours.  There are two ways to keep this tissue irritation to a minimum.  First, make sure that your bleaching trays are custom made at a dental office to ensure a tight fit.  Also, be sure after inserting the trays you take your finger and wipe any excess bleach that may initially come out of the tray when it is being seated.  These two things should keep gingival irritation to a minimum while bleaching.   


Houston Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Staining foods

Thank you for your question!
Teeth get dehydrated for about 24 hours and absorb stains like sponges. It is safe to eat colored foods after 24-48 hours once the teeth have rehydrated. 
Best of luck!

Victoria Veytsman, DDS
New York Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Tooth whitening and gum irritation

When whitening gel comes in contact with the gum tissue, pain and change in gum color can happen. Usually this heals within a few hours to one or two days. This is not unusual and not a problem as long as it is only occasional and not going on continuously.

Paul D. Kantor, DDS
Cleveland Dentist
4.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Gum irritation after teeth whitening

Active component of the whinening gels with high concentrations can significantly irritate gums. In some situations it can lead to discolorations of gum tissue, pain, discomfort and even necrosis. Whitening gels should be used with appropriate custom trays and for a limited amount of time. Usually it takes a couple of days to heal the burn from whitening gel and relieve the discomfort. 

Teeth whitening and gums

The perfectly designed and fitted trays and dentist prescribed gels used in right amount will not normally give you any gum irritation. If it does occur, don't worry as it will become normal within next 24 hours and if it does not , see the dentist ASAP.

Natwarlal Tibrewal, BDS
Leeds Dentist
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

My Gums Got White After Teeth Beaching. When Will They Go Back to Their Normal Pink Color?

The most likely reasons your gums became white are that bleach spilled out of the tray onto the gums.  This is caused most frequently when the dentist did not trim back the tray enough.  So first thing is I would recommend returning to your dentist and have him/her make sure your bleaching trays have been trimmed properly.

The second reason is just using too much bleaching gel and then not wiping off the overflow off of your gums.

Regarding how long will it take for your gums to return to normal?  Could be anywhere between a few hours to few days.  Teeth bleaching gel is only slightly irritating to the gum tissue, so I would expect normalcy to return soon and than there would be no residual damage.

Norman Huefner, DDS
Laguna Niguel Dentist

White gums after whitening

White gums is usually caused by chemicals in the whitening gel. Recovery depends on the duration of gel contact. Typically,  it can take form couple of minutes to couple of hours. If irritation consists please consult with your dentist.

Ashkan Haeri, DMD
Mission Viejo Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Whitening Can Cause Soreness to Teeth and Gums

Whitening has been used safely for over 30 years. We continue to get better results with our newer options however there are still side effects. 1- Depending on what system you choose, (in office vs. take home), what products you use, Kor, Opalescense, Tres White, even Crest Whitening Strips, etc., and how long you whiten, there are side effects. 2- You can be sensitive to temperature, (use a sensitive tooth paste with potassium nitrate in the trays before and after whitening if this happens), you can get white gums from the whitening touching the gums (rinse with warm water after taking off the whitening and the gum will return to normal) 3- You can also get uneven whitening. That can happen when you have bonding, white spots, etc. Your dentist will guide you through all of these. Lifting the color of your teeth has so many advantages that even though there side effects, the result is normally worth it and gives everyone a lift!

Wendy S. Spektor, DDS
Bellevue Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

White color in the gums

The white color to the gums after bleaching is a chemical irritation from  the peroxide in the bleach. this is nothing to worry about and usually returns to the normal color in a few hours. This happens if the bleach gets under the barrier that was applied. There are no long term affects from a one time exposure.

Fred Peck, DDS
Cincinnati Dentist

How Long for White Gums to Return to Pink After Bleaching?

Sounds like you had some bleach come into contact with your gums, while this is unfortunate and can happen even under the most careful supervision there is really nothing to be overly concerned with. The pink color generally returns completely within a few hours.

Good luck!

Brad Lockhart, DDS
Tustin Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.