Is Tooth Whitening Safe?

Generally, tooth whitening is safe. But don’t use tooth-whitening bleaches more often than recommended. Research shows that these products wear away microscopic amounts of tooth enamel, which could increase tooth sensitivity, and even cause tooth decay.

The active ingredient in tooth-whitening bleaches is carbamide peroxide, which breaks down into hydrogen peroxide in your mouth. While studies have shown that this chemical doesn’t raise your risk for oral cancer, which was an early concern, it temporarily made teeth more sensitive for up to 78 percent of people who had their teeth lightened.

That’s because hydrogen peroxide soaks through the protective outer coating of enamel and into the softer layer of dentin underneath, irritating the nerve-rich dental pulp at the core. Microscopic cracks and leaks along dental fillings increase your odds for tooth sensitivity. And up to 40 percent of people who use those whitening trays experience temporary gum irritation as well, though it should go away in a few days.

Also remember that keeping your pearly whites pearly requires touch-ups for a prolonged effect. And if you’re pregnant or nursing, experts advise avoiding teeth whitening altogether, as the potential impact of swallowed whitening chemicals on a fetus or breast-feeding baby is not yet known.

Plus: Why You Need to Floss Your Teeth

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4 thoughts on “Is Tooth Whitening Safe?

  1. Each of us has it’s own perspective about tooth whitening. By this article, we will be able know if tooth whitening is really safe for us to use. At least we are now aware the bad effect if we used tooth whitening too much. Having a white and light teeth could help you to smile with confidence to the public. Anyway, I appreciate your post. A very helpful one to everybody specially to those who wants to make their tooth white without worried.Thank You.

  2. My friend in Las Vegas also has been asking me that question all over again! After I’ve read this, I can finally give her some answers. I’m lucky that I get to see your blog. I really liked how you discussed this, and I understood it well. I’m excited to call my friend now, and give her some responses to her teeth whitening related questions. I hope my friend would understand my explanation, though.

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