woman smiling while pointing to her teeth

When we think about teeth whitening, we often reflect on the benefits. A brighter, whiter smile, more self-confidence, and the ability to smile naturally without being embarrassed by the color of your teeth. For the most part, whitening your teeth is a safe and harmless procedure. However, using products available at the drugstore can be detrimental to not only your teeth but your gums as well.

Many people use the drugstore whitening products incorrectly, believing that if they use more of the product, whether it be a rinse, paste, gel or strip, that they will achieve better results faster. The products that are available over the counter do not have the same concentrations of the active ingredient that a dentist’s products will and using more does not equate to faster, better bleaching.

Dentists have developed a term for chronic over-bleachers, which is “Bleachorexia.” Those who have this condition have over-bleached their teeth to the point that their teeth or enamel has been worn down to the point of being transparent. These consumers probably do not understand how bleaching works. Because bleaching is only capable of removing surface stains on your teeth, it is not meant to make them any whiter than they would appear naturally, and unstained.

The dentists at Sinada Dental Houston understand that surface staining is natural and will occur over time. This happens when you consume certain products, like tobacco or drink strongly colored beverages like coffee, tea, or red wine. Even some sauces, like those with a tomato base or curry, can leave the surface of your teeth stained.

Those who have Bleachorexia, or who are otherwise obsessed with continually whitening their teeth are prone to many consequences, such as:

  • Tooth Sensitivity – Those who are using a bleaching agent not suitable for their teeth can experience teeth that become painfully sensitive to either hot or cold temperature. While tooth sensitivity will in most cases lessen with time, those who are experiencing this sensitivity can make an appointment to make an appointment with Houston Dentist to discuss solutions.
  • Oral Irritation – It is possible to develop irritation in your palate, gums, or throat after using a bleaching product. Some have reported that after accidentally swallowing some of the product they experienced nausea. If you have experienced adverse effects from using a bleaching agent, talk to your dentist about professional solutions as a safer approach.
  • Enamel Erosion – One of the more serious of consequences is enamel erosion, as the enamel will never grow back should it be damaged by a whitening product. If you must whiten at home, look for a product that has received approval from the American Dental Association. Or to be safe, simply schedule an appointment with your dentist.
  • Other Issues – Besides all the above consequences, you can also experience nerve damage, burning gums, or enamel that turns a blue color. Should you apply a bleaching agent to a tooth that is cracked, the result can be a considerable amount of pain that will possibly even result in the need for a root canal.

Tooth whitening can remove surface stains and leaving your teeth with the appearance of being shades lighter, however, it will not work on surfaces that are made of veneer, crowns, bonding, or dental implants. Should you desire more information on the whitening services that the Houston Dentists at Sinada Dental trust and recommend,  please do not hesitate to call and talk to one of our professional staff today.

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