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10th August 2017

Are there side effects of teeth whitening?

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Make sure you’re comfortable with all the benefits and possible side effects of teeth whitening before you commence treatment

Professional teeth whitening is by far and away the safest way of brightening your smile. At Confidental Smiles, we do everything in our power to ensure safe and highly effective procedures, taking every precaution to improve the appearance, health and function of your teeth and gums without causing any damage.

It is important, however, that you are aware of the possible risks associated with teeth whitening. As with all dental treatments, everyone is affected slightly differently. Tooth sensitivity is the most common side effect of teeth whitening, although the degree to which you may experience it will differ from someone else. You may just feel a few very minor twinges in a couple of teeth when you eat something particularly hot or cold, or you may experience more broader sensitivity across more of your teeth.

With the Enlighten whitening system that we use at Confidental Smiles, we offer a special Tooth Serum that can be applied to the teeth before, during and after whitening treatment to help combat the symptoms of sensitivity. We also provide ‘sensitivity swabs’ that can be used to target specific areas of discomfort, alleviating symptoms quickly and easily if necessary.

Another possible side effect is irritation of the gums, if the active bleaching agent used comes into contact with the pink tissue. This is minimised by the Enlighten system with sealed trays – they are designed to contain the whitening gel and prevent leakage onto the gums. If you follow the instructions provided by the dental team on how to apply the gel and place the trays, you are highly unlikely to have any problems.

Another factor to be aware of when considering teeth whitening treatment is that it will not work on any existing restorations you have in your mouth. This includes any crowns (tooth-coloured caps over a single natural tooth) and bridges (tooth-coloured structures that pan more than one tooth). The whitening products are designed to pass through the enamel of the tooth – replacement teeth are made of different materials, which will not be affected by the whitening solution. If you have any existing restorations, teeth whitening is not recommended unless you consider replacing your crowns or bridges at the same time. If you’re not sure whether you have any restorations, your dentist will be able to tell you. They can also discuss any other options available for improving the appearance of your smile.

While it’s essential to know about these risks, most people will undergo teeth whitening treatment without any major problems. If you have a question or concern you can speak to a member of our calm and caring team, who will be more than happy to provide any further information you require.

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