ValuedPatient - Healthcare Topics

How safe is teeth whitening?

You may be considering getting your teeth whitened, but are unsure about how safe it is and whether there are any possible risks.

What are the risks?

As with anything, there is always a slight risk of damage of side effects.  Your teeth or gums may temporarily feel more sensitive after being exposed to the bleaching agents.  If you choose over the counter or at home whitening, it is important to follow the instructions correctly and use the correct strength and quantity of the bleaching agent.  Improper use can cause damage to your teeth and gums and will affect the results. Used correctly by or under the guidance of a dentist, teeth whitening has been proven as 100% safe and effective.

It is important to consult your dentist about whether teeth whitening is safe for you and to check that your teeth and gums are in a good, healthy condition.  You may be advised against it if:

  • You have unusually sensitive teeth or gums
  • You’re pregnant or breastfeeding
  • You have gum disease (the roots are exposed)
  • Your teeth enamel is damaged or your teeth are cracked or chipped
  • You have decay present or a loose filling.

Your dentist will be able to advise you on the advantages and disadvantages of the different methods of whitening to enable you to choose which method suits you best.