Is Teeth Whitening Safe : What are the Dangers?

signTeeth whitening has, over the years, been proved to be very effective. As you probably know the procedure carried out makes your teeth whiter by removing the appearance of stains. Teeth whitening can be done at home, a salon, or in the dentist’s office.

Dentists have a large number of repeat clients every year. This indicates the success of the procedure. But what sort dangers are associated with the procedure?

It’s recommended that you consult with a dentist before any whitening treatment.


Teeth whitening makes your teeth white but, it can also damage & burn your gums if done improperly. The pain in the gums is a result of using peroxide to whiten teeth. The peroxide is powerful enough to bleach stains but this is a big problem when it comes into contact with flesh. Once it touches the gums, it can cause serious side effects. The gums and cheeks need to be well protected from the harsh effects of peroxide.

When using a mouth piece at home, the peroxide can easily burn your gums if you’re not careful. The overuse of home remedies also burns gums and causes irritation. This is even if you’re very careful.

At a professional dentist the risk of burns is severely reduced. They will ensure a protective layer surrounds your gums.

Ingestion of Peroxide

Accidental ingestion of peroxide can have side effects. It can cause:

  • Nausea.
  • Irritation.
  • Headaches.
  • Vomiting.

Fortunately saliva has high levels of peroxidase which can break down the peroxide. Continuous swallowing of peroxide can cause stomach problems. Mouth pieces given to patients to carry out home treatment are the main cause of this issue.

The patients can swallow the peroxide accidentally. Although peroxide is dangerous in high doses, the doses used for teeth whitening are much weaker. Some people are allergic to peroxide. If this is the case you can’t use it to whiten your teeth.

Sensitive Teeth

Tooth sensitivity is a common complaint among patients after undergoing the teeth whitening procedure. Sensitivity and pain can cause discomfort in a patient making it hard for him or her to eat. This is because the chemical reactions that bleach the teeth make them more sensitive.

The degree of pain and sensitivity varies from one patient to another. Potassium nitrate can help reduce the discomfort caused by teeth whitening. Patients are advised to buy toothpaste that has potassium nitrate in it. This remedy doesn’t work for everyone but the sensitivity should wear off eventually. If it doesn’t you should inform your dentist – especially if there is any discomfort after the procedure.

Sensitivity can range a lot – some patients will be fine, others may be in quite a lot of pain.

Long Term Side Effects

Long term effects of teeth whitening can be serious. Sometimes sudden staining is a sign of a deeper problem you may have. Covering it up by teeth whitening isn’t going to help. It actually increases the chances of damage to the teeth. Before teeth whitening can take place the teeth need to be completely healthy. Gum diseases and cavities need to be treated before the process can be carried out.

Damage to Enamel

Damaged enamel is another potential long-term side effect. The enamel is basically the hard surface of the teeth, so obviously you don’t want it eroding. Improper use of home kits can potentially cause this sort of damage. If you have thin enamel you shouldn’t get teeth whitening.

Reduce Risks

But the only way to know if your enamel is thin or not is to consult a dentist. Hopefully on this page we’ve shown you why that’s important. So there can be a few side effects with teeth whitening, but as long as your teeth are healthy, and the procedure is performed properly, they are easily manageable.

Read more about how teeth whitening works.