There a whole range of teeth whitening products available in stores and online. The prices range from £5 to a few hundred pounds. These over the counter teeth whitening products promise you that your teeth will be several shades whiter within a few applications but this has not been proven and the products may put your oral health at risk. Some beauty salons offer a teeth whitening service but this is illegal, teeth whitening should only be done by a registered dentist or a by a regulated dental professional such as: a dental hygienist, a dental therapist or on a prescription which has been prescribed by a registered dentist.
The effects of DIY whitening kits can range from mild to severe damage to your teeth. Here are some of the side effects that over the counter whitening products can produce.
Teeth whitening products can cause damage to the nerves in your teeth. With the harsh chemicals, bleach and poorly fitted mouth guard nerves are susceptible to getting damaged or infected. For someone who has deep cavities, whether they’re aware about it or not, the bleach can have a direct route into the blood vessels, bone and root of the tooth. The bleach can cause irreversible nerve damage which will cause a very bad toothache and may require antibiotics and/or extraction of the tooth.
Many DIY bleaching kits have very high acidity. As well as damaging your teeth, the bleach can give you an upset stomach when swallowed. Many over the counter kits come with a standard sized mouth guard. The mouth guard is poorly fitted, therefore it is very easy for the bleach to be swallowed. This causes burning, discomfort and nausea, continual swallowing of the bleach if agents can irreversibly damage the lining of your stomach.
Tooth Erosion and Sensitivity
The chemicals in tooth whitening kits can be harsh on your teeth. The main ingredients are Hydrogen Peroxide and Bicarbonate, these are very abrasive. These chemicals will start to erode the enamel on your teeth The enamel is the shiny coating which covers your teeth but it is not just for cosmetic purposes. Enamel is there to protect your teeth from decay, if the enamel becomes eroded, it is more likely that tooth decay and discolouration will happen. This means tooth whitening can become harder to fix in the long run. This can happen more quickly in some people than others. The tooth erosion can also lead to sensitive teeth which will cause you discomfort when brushing, eating and drinking certain things.
Continued use of over the counter teeth whitening kits can cause extensive damage to your gums. High concentrations of Hydrogen Peroxide can make your gums become infected which can have severe consequences on your