Teeth Whitening: Is It Really Safe?

White teeth are something that a lot of people around the globe want to have, but they are not sure if they should go ahead and attain it due to being nervous about the possible adverse effects that could result from chemicals used in teeth whitening techniques.

Minor Side-Effects

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the active bleaching ingredient that is utilized in a great percentage of whitening products is carbamide peroxide. All the teeth whitening techniques that are on the market have been evaluated over the years. They have proven to provide results and be safe if used as directed. Even so, there could be minor side-effects on three areas: gums, teeth, and dental restorations.


The concentration of bleach that dentists used is usually higher than the bleach that is contained in over-the-counter methods. Dentists tend to utilize a bleaching lamp to boost the effectiveness of the bleach, allowing results to become more rapidly apparent.

If the bleach gets on the gums, irritation can occur. The potential irritation is greater when there is a higher bleach concentration present. Once the bleach is removed from the area, the irritation will begin to subside little by little.

At-home methods can be either a dentist prescribed system or an over-the-counter product. When it is a dentist prescribed system, it will consist of a mouthguard tray to hold bleach in place. Over-the-counter products consist of gels and strips.


Tooth sensitivity is also a common side effect of bleach. People who have decay, fractured structures, and broken fillings are more susceptible to suffering from tooth sensitivity when undergoing teeth whitening. To prevent this type of issue from occurring, it is recommended that you begin to utilize a toothpaste for sensitive teeth one week before your bleaching, no matter if it is going to be at the dentist or if you are going to try an over-the-counter product.


There has been a lot of talk suggesting that bleach can affect silver filling or dental amalgam, causing them to release mercury and thus being dangerous, but the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) disagrees in this aspect. They assure that bleaching does not reflect a health matter, as it has been declared that dental amalgam is benign in its content of mercury. Bleaching will destroy neither implants nor crowns. In addition, white colour fillings can slightly whiten.

It Is Best to Opt for a Dentist

Even though bleaching services are offered at salons, cruise ships, and spas, it is always best to opt to have it done in a dental office setting, as a dentist can perform an exam to know if teeth whitening treatment is a good option for you, or if there are other matters that need to be solved first before undergoing it.

Teeth whitening is not a perfect practice, but it is one that is careful, especially if you opt for dentists, as he or she can provide you with the results that you want without risking safety in any aspect.

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