Teeth Whitening: 4 Potential Side Effects

26 May 2015
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

If you are planning on getting your teeth whitened, there are some possible side effects to be aware of. While not everyone will experience the following side effects, it helps to know all pertinent information before you decide to get whitening done. Keep in mind these are side effects for at-home and office teeth whitening procedures, though you might find that office procedures are less severe than the home whitening kits.

Tooth Pain

Some people will experience some tooth pain after having their teeth whitened, though it should go away in a few days. The pain from whitening is usually from your tooth's nerve becoming inflamed. Make sure you have a dental exam prior to whitening. If you have cavities or a dental infection, that needs to be addressed first. Otherwise, the pain you experience during whitening might be more severe. This is especially important if you have a deep cavity that is close to the nerve, which would require a root canal.

Extra Sensitivity

You may not have actual tooth pain, but instead have overly sensitive teeth following the procedure. This is also a temporary side effect that may only last a few hours or few days, depending on how sensitive your teeth were before getting them bleached. The whitening process reaches the dentin layer of your teeth, which is below the enamel. This can cause some moderate to intense sensitivity for a little while after the bleaching is done. Be careful what you eat and drink until the sensitivity subsides.

Irritation of the Soft Tissues

Your gum tissues are also susceptible to irritation, which is actually a type of chemical burn. This occurs when the whitening solution reaches the gum tissue. If the gum tissue was exposed to the teeth bleach, they will turn white temporarily. This lets your dentist know it has made contact with the gums, and they will quickly remove it. The irritation shouldn't last long unless the whitening product is left on the gums for long periods of time. Let your dentist know if you feel burning on your gums during the procedure.

Inadequate Results

It is important that you remain realistic about your expectations following a teeth whitening procedure. You may not have teeth quite as white and bright as you originally intended. The starting shade of your teeth can determine how white the procedure will get them. If you have a lot of heavy staining, it may take a few different whitening sessions before you are happy with the results.

If you would like to get your teeth whitened professionally, then make an appointment with a dental clinic like NorthShore Family Dentistry.