The dark side of Teeth Whitening

Teeth Whitening has turned out to be really popular these days among those who smoke and have some erratic eating habit. Globally people spend billions on teeth whitening products annually. Moreover it has been found out that bleaching is the most sought after treatment at the dental clinics. The procedure is opted by the people falling in the age range of 30-40 years. At the present moment it has been also found out that the tooth paste which are offer “white teeth”  are high in demand.

It is always advisable to have healthy teeth and often patients get confused with the fact that white teeth are supposedly healthy. Well this is not exactly true. Yes white teeth looks good and impressive however dentists have been really particular about the patients these days. They have started suggesting whether a patient should undergo a teeth whitening procedure using bleach or not. Back in 2002 University of Southern California School of Dentistry carried out a survey on 100 people who have been using an over-the-counter-strength whitening gel (which contains 15% carbamide peroxide). It was found that out of 100 nearly 10 people had an excruciating and piercing pain. Such kind of pain are referred as “Ziggers” by dentists.

Since then the dentists have become more vigilant on recommending who should undergo this treatment. Apart from this dentists are also trying to figure out why is that the bleach is hurting so much. Ideally speaking there is no problem in teeth whitening provided you do not overuse the bleaching gel. As per Edmond R. Hewlett, DDS, consumer advisor for the ADA and an associate professor at the UCLA School of Dentistry “There’s overwhelming evidence that, when used as directed, bleaching does not cause permanent damage to the teeth or gums”. 

There have been multiple studies in the past which has suggested that it is absolutely fine to use bleach on your teeth for two weeks. This should be the drug store method or a dentist prescribed one. When it comes to dentist prescribed session then it can be done at home or at the clinic. The overuse of bleaching agent causes irritation in gums, tooth sensitivity and discolored enamel. This happens when you have cracked enamel or a cavity which is not filled. Such conditions can also lead to root canal.

There was a time when people were not aware of bleaching as a method of teeth whitening but now every patient is aware of it and wants to undergo. As dentist it is our responsibility to carefully check the condition of the patient and decide whether he/she should undergo the procedure or not. The fact that we need to convey to patients is that once bleaching is stopped their teeth will return to the original color (before teeth whitening) and the side effects as well.

Teeth whitening is not dangerous but there is a dark side as well in getting the teeth whitened which we need to convey to the patients.

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