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What are the risks to teeth whitening?

What are the risks to teeth whitening?

Though the negative side effects associated with teeth whitening are relatively mild, there are still some factors that our Surrey dentists want patients to consider when they are considering this cosmetic dental procedure.

“Teeth whitening” and “teeth bleaching” do not mean exactly the same thing.

The term "teeth whitening" is an umbrella term for making your teeth whiter. Teeth whitening can be done with a number of teeth cleaning agents, or over the counter products.

"Teeth bleaching", then, is a type of whitening. It involves hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. It makes the colour of the teeth themselves lighter.

Because teeth bleaching is the most popular and effective form of teeth whitening, the term is often used interchangeably with teeth whitening.

Most teeth whitening treatments are safe when procedures are followed as directed. However, there are a few relatively minor risk associated with bleaching in particular that you should be aware of.


Teeth bleaching can cause teeth to become temporarily sensitive to temperatures. Some people experience a spontaneous pain down the centre of their front teeth after treatment.

Sensitivity after teeth whitening usually fades away after a few days.

Gum Irritation

More than half of people who use peroxide-based whitening systems experience mild gum irritation caused by the bleach concentration or contact with the trays.

Gum irritation usually subsides within a few days of treatment.

Problems with Restorations

Teeth bleaching products will not lighten the colour of dental restorations, such as dental crowns, fillings, or veneers. In other words, if you have a restoration and try to whiten your teeth, the restoration will stay the same colour.

To prevent this from becoming an issue, many people choose to undergo a course of teeth whitening before their dental restoration procedures.

Contact us today to book a teeth whitening consultation with one of our Surrey dentists.

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