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Major Health Risks Involved In Teeth Whitening

Aug 18, 2007
The at home teeth whitening or in office teeth whitening techniques are completely safe if you follow the dentist's guidelines, manufacturer's instruction or if you maintain some other health parameters.

Teeth whitening systems generally use peroxide or peroxide based compounds as whitening agents. Mainly are composed with carbamide peroxide, hydrogen peroxide and urea peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is three times more potent than others. Usually if the whitening agent contains more peroxide the whitening power of the agent increases proportionately.

Formulations may differ considering the method applied. Some products should be worn for half an hour twice a day, while others should be worn at night. The peroxide based whitening agent acts on the upper layer of the teeth and in the next layer. It does not reach the innermost part of the tooth like the pulp.

Teeth whitening agents only whiten the natural teeth. It cannot change the shade of dentures, fillings, veneers, crowns or caps. The products should be used at least at a gap of six months.

Clinical studies based on various surveys show that the health risks from at home tooth whitening kits are not harmful at all if used as directed by the product manufacturer or the dentist. Available scientific information reveals that there is no instance of possible adverse effects on enamel hardness or tooth structure. Though usually temporary, one common side effect some people face by using whitening gel is tooth sensitivity.

To minimize your health risks and side effects, there are some guidelines you have to follow. You have to read and follow the instructions printed on the product label or leaflet. A whitening agent should not be used more than a couple of week without consulting a dentist.

If you experience tooth sensitivity during treatment then first you have to decrease the intensity and frequency of the use of the product to half of the stipulated duration. You may also discontinue the use for few days.

If you are already suffering from pre existing dental problems, infections, recent restoration work on the teeth or teeth sensitivity problem then immediately consult your dentist before using any teeth whitening agent. Tooth whiteners are often found to be ineffective for people who have stained their teeth by drug use.

The OTC products that are not approved by ADA or similar dental associations could turn out be unsafe or detrimental to those who already have tooth or gum infection or during pregnancy and lactation.
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