Teeth whitening can go to the extreme. While wanting whiter teeth and getting rid of stains from coffee, wine or smoking is understandable, and not a bad thing, some people appear to be obsessed with keeping their teeth white, to the point of overusing teeth whitening products.
An ABC News article quotes the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry in saying that under proper dental guidance, teeth whitening can be done safely. More than $1 billion every year is spent on whitening products that you can buy over the counter. But bleaching your teeth is only safe in moderation.
When Is Teeth Whitening Too Much?
You’re endangering your dental health when you don’t follow the limitations laid out by the instructions for dental whitening products.
Some people never think their teeth are white enough and bleach their teeth more frequently than recommended — either not realizing the potential harm or because they feel compelled to do so.
What Problems Does Over Whitening Cause?
The bleaching agents can wear down your tooth enamel, but what’s even worse is the fact that your teeth are not going to replace the enamel. What happens is the tooth layer underneath the enamel can be exposed, which makes your teeth look even less white and appear yellow. Teeth can become brittle, thin, chalky and transparent around the edges. Losing enamel makes you prone to cavities and open to tooth sensitivity and receding gums. Some teeth can get so bad that your dentist may recommend crowns or veneers due to enamel loss.
According to Web MD some of the primary signs that you may be overusing teeth whitening products are:
- Excessive teeth sensitivity and in particular to cold
- Gums that bleed or are red or irritated
- Blotchy looking teeth
- Translucent looking teeth
- Throbbing tooth pain
Do You Have Questions About Whitening Your Teeth?
Dr. Baker is glad to answer your questions and help you do whiten your teeth the safe way. He also can educate you about home whitening products so you don’t put your dental health at risk.