Zoom Whitening Side Effects

I had the ZOOM teeth whitening procedure done and I am convinced that I am going to need a gum graft after it heals. I was well protected during the procedure, however, my front gums are white and sore. Is this normal? Can ZOOM teeth whitening damage gums?

Doctor Answers 10

ZOOM Whitening: Side Effects - Zoom has proven extremely safe...

In my experience, having performed hundreds of Zoom Whitening procedures, not once have I had a patient experience any permanent damage to the gums, the tooth structure, or other soft tissues.

You have indicated that your "front gums are white and sore", which is not unheard of immediately following the procedure. However, you have not indicated if these symptoms were examined immediately after whitening, shortly after, days after. My point is, that I would be more concerned if after a few weekends these symptoms persisted, otherwise, you're fine.

Best of luck,

James Asaf, DDS

Beverly Hills Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

White Sore Gums Should Return to normal within 24 hours

Zoom! in office Whitening is completed on the teeth in an isolated field.  Your dentist, I am sure, placed cheek retractors, gum protector dam, cotton rolls and cotton pads all for the purposes of protecting your gums lips and tongue.
However, everyone's salivary flow is different and for those that have a high volume of saliva it is possible that during the sessions some gel has seeped through the protector and onto your gums.  This shows as white tissue and can burn and be mild to moderately painful.  Vitamin E oil helps along with warm salt water rinsing 5-6 times during the first day.
I have never, in my experience, seen a case where Zoom gel caused any long term issue with the gums.  I am sure it will return to normal within a day or so. However, If three days go by and the areas are still sore and white a visit back to your dentist is warranted!

Steven Davidowitz, DDS
New York Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Don't Worry

  • Zoom itself causes no permanent  damage in any way that I am aware. If the gums in that area turned very white and painful, it was from some of the bleach seeping under the blockout  material.  Sometimes saliva loosens the blockout, and bleach gets under. We usually recheck at each 15 minute interval, and reapply blockout if we suspect a loose seal anywhere.
  • If it's very uncomfortable, and  you can apply aloe Vera gel frequently, and anything you take for a headache for the pain. Stay  away from acidic foods.  I have  personally never seen permanent damage, but I guess sloppy blockout technique could result in a large area of burned gum tissue.
  • If it doesn't resolve in a few days, see a periodontal (gum) specialist.

Paula S. Gould, DDS
Englewood Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Are There Any Zoom Whitening Side Effects?

Hello there...I am sorry to hear about your sore gum.  It appears a little gel seeped under the protection.  Good news - your gums are not damaged. They will heal within 48 hours. Massage the area with a super soft tooth brush or your finger.  Rinse with warm salt water.  In our office we offer 800mg Motrin at the end of the procedure too.  Everyone's teeth and gums are different in their reaction to Zoom so this seems to take away any post-whitening discomfort.

N. Summer Lerch, DDS, FAGD
New Haven Dentist
4.7 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Your gums will heal

Your gums are not damaged.  They will heal in 48 hours.  This occured because a little bit of the bleach that was used for the whitening procedure came in contact with your gums, but it is nothing severe.  If you need to, you can take an over the counter painkiller to help alleve the pain.

Lawrence Singer, DMD
Washington Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Side Effect of Zoom Whitening

Do not be alarmed.  Your gums that have turned white  from Zoom whitening will heal within 48 hours!  The cause of this was that a small portion of the bleach made its way under the protective barrier placed over your gums.  When this happened, it slightly irritates  the gums.  They will turn white first and then turn red before healing.  This is a common occurrence and things will be fine in a couple of days. 

Scott Young, DDS
Houston Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

The gums will heal!

Based on your description, it sounds like the gums will heal after the ZOOM procedure, and you will not need a gum tissue graft.  Although a block-out resin is used to protect the gums, sometimes the bleaching gel will leak under and cause a minor gum tissue burn.  This will resolve and heal on its own.  Keep the area clean and take Tylenol or Ibuprofen if needed.  You can also open a capsule of Vitamin E and apply the Vitamin E to your gums to help resolve the discomfort and stimulate healing.   If your dentist has a laser, he or she may be able to use low-level laser therapy to help the gums heal quicker.  

Typically NO side effects from in-office teeth whitening

Typically in-office whitening systems are exceedingly safe for gum tissue because a modified resin barrier is placed over the gums. In some instances though, some of the whitening gel can "seep" under the barrier. This causes the gums to turn white (or oxidize). In some causes, this will cause the gums to peel or blister in that area of exposure. Depends on the severity of the oxidation, duration, etc.

But to answer your question, it rarely happens and in-office whitening is safe and DOES NOT Cause damage to gums.

Peter Boulden, DMD, FAGD
Atlanta Dentist
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Zoom teeth whitening should not damage your gums.

Zoom teeth whitening should not damage your gums. We in our office use special "block out" material to protect from such a damage. However, if gums are "burn" in the Zoom procedure, it will completely heal within 48 hour period. During this healing time, you should stay away from acidic and hot food/drinks.

Victoria Olshansky, DDS
Los Angeles Dentist
1.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

No significant side effects with Zoom whitening

Zoom whitening can cause temporary sensitivity in teeth and gums, as well as sore gums if the bleach comes into contact with gums during the bleaching process. However, the gums heal in couple of days, and the teeth sensitivity will go away a few days after the bleaching treatment is complete. There are absolutely no damaging effects to the enamel, the strength of the tooth structure or gum tissue.


Arthur Kezian, DDS
Los Angeles Dentist
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 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.