Can You Whiten Your Teeth

Can You Whiten Your Teeth Too Much?

Team Whitening

While teeth whitening is safe under a dentist's supervision, it is possible to whiten too much and risk serious damage. Risks of over-whitening include enamel erosion, tooth and gum sensitivity, and discoloration.

This blog explains how teeth whitening works, what can happen if you whiten too much, and shares tips for whitening safely.

How Teeth Whitening Works

Teeth whitening solutions contain hydrogen or carbamide peroxide. These chemicals can penetrate the hard layer of enamel and oxidize the dark-pigmented molecules inside the tooth structure. Peroxide solutions whiten your teeth from the inside, unlike abrasive solutions that can only polish away exterior stains.

The whitening process causes slight tooth demineralization. This effect is normal and manageable when a professional whitens teeth. Demineralization makes the teeth more porous and exposes the microtubules within the teeth.

Normally, the teeth remineralize just a few days to weeks after whitening ends. When you whiten excessively, the tooth may not recover its hardness enough to protect you from discomfort.

The Dangers of Over-Whitening Your Teeth

When you over-whiten your teeth, you could encounter many serious side effects. A qualified dentist can whiten your teeth safely and effectively without these problems.

Excessive Tooth Sensitivity

Over-whitening makes teeth highly sensitive. When whitening products are too acidic or abrasive, they could impact the tooth enamel and cause severe gum irritation. Peroxide bleaching agents can also irritate the tooth's interior nerves. 

Tooth Discoloration

You may notice that your teeth are translucent instead of white. Too much peroxide exposure causes this effect. Unfortunately, it is irreversible.

Gum Irritation

Your gums may be sensitive, swollen, and red. This irritation could spread to your mouth and throat as well.

Enamel Erosion

Your dentist can check whether excess whitening damages your enamel. Unfortunately, they cannot restore your enamel once it is lost. If your enamel is compromised, you may be more vulnerable to tooth decay.

Teeth Whitening Safety Tips

Be Cautious Using Over-The-Counter Whitening Products

Suppose you purchase an over-the-counter whitening product from a major brand. In that case, it is likely safe when used according to the package directions but not as effective as professional whitening. People who use over-the-counter treatments more often than the package directs may experience some of the side effects of over-whitening.

Avoid Abrasive Whiteners

Products like activated charcoal are reputed to whiten teeth but are too abrasive for your enamel health. Visit a dentist for whitening treatments rather than using these products.

Visit a Dentist for Whitening Treatments

Dentists have multiple whitening options to fit your schedule and provide the desired results. You can choose from chairside whitening, which can brighten your teeth by multiple shades in one day, or at-home whitening, which gradually produces brilliant results.

Frequently Asked Questions About Teeth Whitening

How can I handle sensitivity after whitening my teeth?

Your dentist will recommend brushing with a special sensitivity toothpaste and may prescribe a rinse that cuts down on these sensations. Sensitivity is usually temporary and will improve as time goes by.

How often should I have my teeth whitened?

Professional teeth whitening should last for about six months to three years, depending on the results you want. Generally, it is best to keep whitening treatments about six to nine months apart to minimize sensitivity.

Call Paramount Dental Arts

If it's time for a brilliant new smile, please call Paramount Dental Arts at 973-777-1772. Dr. Schild can help you plan and create your ideal look while preserving your oral health.