As with many beauty trends, the rise in demand for teeth whitening has led to the rise in dangerous and illegal alternatives, including the sale of unregulated home whitening kits. Here are four reasons why whitening your teeth at home without a dental consultation is dangerous:
1. Damage to enamel:
Home teeth whitening kits often advertise results in just minutes, and in some cases this is true…however, instant-whitening kits can cause irreparable damage to enamel if used frequently.
Unlike professional teeth whitening, home kits sometimes contain chlorine dioxide, the same acid used to clean your swimming pool. This ingredient delivers a white glow by stripping the stains from the surface of the teeth, but there is nothing to stop the treatment from also stripping away your enamel.
2. Damaged gums:
The majority of home teeth whitening kits also include hydrogen peroxide, which can cause burns to the soft tissue or receding gums. Whilst hydrogen peroxide is safe to use in small doses, many home teeth whitening kits contain more than 0.1% which can cause burns to the soft tissue inside the mouth, increase tooth sensitivity and, in extreme cases, irreversible gum recession.
Mouth guards that don’t fit are a common cause of chemical leakage during teeth whitening, but the resulting exposure to hydrogen peroxide can cause both external and internal side effects. One particularly concerning complication is physical sickness, which is the result of swallowing chemicals during the whitening process.
Many of the problems caused by home teeth whitening stem from the high chance of chemical burns, and mouth infections are no different. Chemical burns can quickly and easily leave parts of the mouth and gum exposed, making them vulnerable to the high levels of bacteria living in the mouth. This problem is significantly more common in consumers who have an ineffective daily dental hygiene routine, due to the excess bacteria found on the tongue or between teeth.
Teeth whitening can be a great way to get the smile you want. However, there are many risks involved with these products and they may not work as well on your unique set of dental circumstances. Which means that it’s important for anyone who wants brighter pearly whites (and improved oral health) to do research before buying one or leave it up to the professionals. Schedule an appointment today to discuss how we can help you achieve your perfect smile!