Is teeth whitening safe?

Nobody wants stained, discolored yellow teeth. They not only do they look unappealing to ones own self, but they also look unpresentable. People perceive the ‘yellowed’ teeth with lack of proper dental hygiene then. However, there are plenty of other reasons for stained teeth, with not brushing them being just one facet. 

One reason for the pale and yellow stain on the teeth is our diet. Coffee, tea, wine are some dietary items that can stain the teeth. Similarly, cigarettes and other products containing tobacco also turn teeth yellow. 

This type of discoloration is known as extrinsic discoloration, as the stain is outside of the tooth. It can be sorted with the correct whitening toothpaste. However, intrinsic discoloration is not as easy to sort. 

 In intrinsic discoloration, problem persists from the inside of the teeth. Common causes include trauma to the tooth, medicines, illnesses, infection and even aging. To remedy this sort of teeth yellowing, one has to visit their Dentist in Lahore for professional bleaching of the teeth. 

Unfortunately, many people are not aware of these nuances of stain, and instead take up teeth whitening products on their own accord, without consulting an expert. Also as teeth whitening has become a very fashionable cosmetic procedure, more and more people are now in the pursuit of the pearly whites.

Is teeth whitening dangerous?

Many over-the-counter remedies for teeth whitening are widely available. These usually contain hydrogen peroxide, for basically bleaching your teeth.

 OTC teeth whiteners most often consist of strips of gel-filled trays that are then applied as per the brand’s instruction manual, as the application time is contingent on the bleach content inside of the gel. Most are aimed at lightening the teeth, and removing stains, but only from at the surface of the teeth. 

Permanent damage. There is also the chance of sustaining permanent damage to the gums and teeth if the proper protocols of whitening are not followed, especially, if you are not supervised by an expert, and no, a beautician is not an expert. Only certified dentists can be referred to as being experts. 

Chemical Burns. Many a times, when using mouthguards with the bleaching gel, people end up sustaining chemical burns when the mouthguard moves and is not fitted specific to their jaw. Some people also can get sick from swallowing the bleach that dribbles off of the mouthguard 

Illegal and dangerous products. According to some investigations conducted in the UK, certain brands also added sodium perborate in their whitening concoctions. This chemical has been banned in the major developed countries, as it can cause grave problems like infertility and fetal abnormalities. 

Sensitivity. Furthermore, teeth whitening can also lead to increased sensitivity. As the bleach destroys the enamel, the pulp of the tooth then gets exposed, leading to greater sensitivity. The symptoms aggravate in people already suffering from sensitivity. 

Uneven whitening. Whitening also only works if the tooth is covered in enamel, because that is what the bleaching agent is targeting. However, for people with dental restorations like crowning, veneers etc., there is no change from the whitening product, as these restorations do not get bleached. 

Consequently, some part of your oral cavity will appear white, and the rest, stained, which will make the appearance even more disconcerting. 

Tissue Irritation. When the tray of the mouthpiece does not settle well over the teeth, the solution or gel can then make contact with the gums and tissues of the oral cavity, resulting in it getting irritated. 

Dentine Damage. The peroxide from the whitening products also damages the dentin, which is the hard surface underneath the enamel of the tooth. 

Might damage the surface of the teeth. Another potential danger of using the whitening products is the impact they have on the surface of the teeth. The harsh bleach can make the surface uneven, and rough. 

Ineffective. Certain products simply do not have sufficient bleaching strength to remove the stains. Whereas it is not a risk per se, but your teeth get unnecessarily exposed to bleach, which can sting, pun intended. Wasting time, money and energy on the product that won’t even work can be very frustrating.

Safe ways for teeth whitening 

The presence of risks with the OTC whiteners does not mean that you have to make do with stained teeth. There are safer ways for getting your teeth to shine. 

Of course, the best way, for extrinsic whitening, is to avoid stains in the very first place. Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day. Make sure to avoid staining products like tea, coffee, coke and cigarettes. 

But if you absolutely want to use the drugstore bought whiteners, then at least make sure that they are approved by the drug regulatory authority. You also need to strictly follow the instructions given on the pack. And if you feel your teeth are becoming more sensitive or there are other side-effects from the use of the bleaching agent, suspend their usage or switch to a milder form.

However, the safest option, also endorsed by dental organizations worldwide, is that you consult visit a certified dentist. Not only are they well versed in the art of dispensing safe whitening procedures, but they are also aware of the risks associated with it. 

Whitening procedures should not be done by patients whose dental health is already in peril. Neither you as a layperson, nor a beautician can make this call, only your Dentist in Islamabad is qualified for offering educated assessment. Hence, be smart and consult your dentist for teeth whitening!