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Teeth Whitening: What Are the Risks?

Teeth Whitening: What Are the Risks?

Though there are few risks associated with teeth whitening, there are still some important factors our Surrey dentists ask patients to think about when they are considering this cosmetic dental procedure.

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

Teeth whitening just means making your teeth whiter. Teeth whitening can be accomplished with a number of different teeth cleaning agents and over-the-counter whitening products. These types of products remove some surface stains, but do not change the actual colour of the teeth.

Teeth bleaching is one type of teeth whitening that involves the use of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide to make the colour of the teeth themselves lighter.

Because teeth bleaching is a type of teeth whitening, these terms are often used interchangeably.

Teeth whitening treatments are considered safe when instructions are followed as directed. However, there are a certain minor risks associated with bleaching that you should be aware of.


Bleaching may cause the teeth to become temporarily sensitive to temperature. Some people experience spontaneous “shooting” pains down the centres of their front teeth.

Sensitivity after teeth whitening usually goes away after a few days to a week.

Gum Irritation

Many people who use peroxide-based whitening systems experience mild gum irritation as a result of the bleach concentration or contact with the trays.

Gum irritation may last for up to a week after the bleaching process is complete.

Problems with Restorations

Teeth bleaching products will not have any affect on dental restorations, such as dental crowns, fillings, or veneers. If you have a restoration and try to whiten your teeth, the restoration will not change colour.

To prevent this from happening, many people choose to undergo a course of teeth whitening before their dental restoration procedures, so that the composites or veneers can be matched to the new, whiter colour of the teeth.

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

Get on the path to a brighter, healthier smile. Contact Ladner Village Dental today!

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