3 Possible Side Effects from Teeth Whitening

Posted on: 18 January 2016

If you aren't happy with the staining and discolouration of your teeth, you might be considering teeth whitening. While professional teeth whitening gives you the opportunity of having a beautiful, white smile, there are also some side effects you should be aware of. This helps you be more prepared and decide if this is the right option for you.

Sensitive Teeth

One of the most common side effects from having teeth whitened is extra sensitivity of your teeth enamel. While this is a temporary side effect, it is something you should consider before having a teeth whitening procedure. The severity and amount of time your teeth are sensitive for depend on how much enamel you have on your teeth and your history with sensitive teeth. If simply drinking cold water hurts your teeth, you will most likely have worse sensitivity of the teeth than someone that can handle different temperatures. The sensitivity is from the dentin layer being affected during the whitening process. Let your dentist know about your tooth sensitivity so they can recommend a procedure that affects the enamel and dentin layer less than the alternatives.

The Discolouration Becomes More Obvious

While teeth whitening is a very effective procedure, whether you choose laser whitening or tray whitening, it may also cause the change in tooth colouration to be more obvious. This is because dental restorations, such as fillings and bonding, don't change colour when you get your teeth whitened. Your natural teeth will be pearly white, but if these restorations are not as white, it will be obvious. If your fillings are in the back of your mouth, it might not be an issue. However, if you have bonding in the front of your mouth, you might want to reconsider. The other option is to very gradually whiten your teeth until your natural colour is just to the whiteness of the bonding and no whiter so the colours match.

It Can be Painful With Tooth Decay

Dentists often recommend that you have a dental check-up prior to getting your teeth whitened. This is because certain dental issues, such as cavities and cracked teeth, can become painful with the chemicals used in teeth whitening. Since molars aren't whitened, it might not be an issue with your back teeth. It is a good idea to have your front teeth checked and have decay addressed prior to a whitening procedure. If the chemical gets into these cavities, it could cause damage and pain, ultimately requiring the need for a root canal.

The best thing you can do is see your dentist before getting teeth whitening and asking for x-rays and a check-up. They will let you know if whitening is an option at this time and which method will be best for your situation.