Do Teeth Whitening Procedures Damage Teeth?
Teeth whitening is one of the most popular treatments in cosmetic dentistry. People want their smiles to look their best, which in turn not only gives them a more pleasing aesthetic appearance, but increases their self-esteem as well.
Teeth whitening is done in two ways – using at home trays over a period of time, or having the procedure done in the dental office in one visit. The take home tray method involves the patient placing the bleaching gel into the trays and placing them over their teeth for a given amount of time each day. In the in-office procedure, the dentist paints the special bleaching agent onto the patient’s teeth, and a special light is directed onto the teeth. Take home trays may also be given as part of this procedure for touch ups which may be needed a few weeks after the treatment.
While both procedures whiten teeth, the in-office treatment shows faster results because of the strength of the gel used. Both procedures essentially bleach the internal hard structures of the teeth to make them whiter.
While many people do undergo teeth whitening treatments, there is also a question of whether these procedures are harmful to the teeth, and if they will damage them in any way. And the answer is, it depends on how long your teeth are exposed to the whitening agents, and how often the treatments are done. One of the most common side effects of teeth whitening is that the teeth become sensitive after bleaching. This is because prolonged exposure to the whitening agents can irritate the nerves of the teeth. With the in-office and at home bleaching treatments, if the whitening agent is not administered properly, it can irritate the gums and damage the soft tissue in your mouth. With the at home procedure, there’s a chance that some of the gel can be ingested and cause nausea or irritation.
As with any procedure, precautions should be taken and you should go to an experienced and efficient dental professional to have these procedures done.