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Does Teeth Whitening Cause Any Side Effects?

By Ann R. Sielicki, DDS on February 15, 2020

Does Teeth Whitening Cause Any Side Effects? – Scottsdale DentistTeeth whitening is generally considered to be a safe way to achieve a whiter and brighter smile. However, according to Dr. Ann Sielicki of Sonoran Dental Design, whitening with over-the-counter products like strips or generic trays may cause some uncomfortable side effects. It is important to consider these side effects before making decisions about teeth whitening.

Tooth Sensitivity

The most common side effect of teeth whitening is tooth sensitivity, particularly in the early stages of whitening. Bleaching products used to whiten teeth can make the outer layer of enamel more permeable, exposing tiny tubules (or channels) within the teeth. These channels lead from the tooth surface to the center of the teeth, where nerves are contained. When the tubules are exposed, sensitivity can occur. The teeth may ache or it may be uncomfortable to consume hot or cold foods or beverages.

Gum Irritation

Like the teeth themselves, the gum tissue is sensitive to bleaching products used for whitening. When the gums are exposed to bleaching products, often due to ill-fitting trays or strips, they can become extremely irritated, inflamed or red. This type of reaction is considered a chemical burn. The gums may look white when they first come into contact with the bleaching product, eventually returning to their normal pink color.

Reduce the Side Effects of Teeth Whitening

The smartest way to reduce your risk of teeth whitening side effects and enjoy gorgeous results is to leave your whitening needs to Dr. Sielicki. Dr. Sielicki uses the KöR system, which involves the use of custom at-home whitening trays coupled with an in-office whitening treatment.

When our team provides you with your at-home whitening trays, we will ensure the trays fit snugly (yet comfortably) so the whitening gel does not leak out of the trays and irritate your gums. We will advise how long to wear the trays so you do not end up wearing them for too long and experiencing tooth sensitivity. You will also receive a bottle of desensitizing liquid to apply to the teeth to prevent sensitivity.

When you come in for your in-office treatment, we are very careful to protect your gums from the whitening product so you do not experience gum irritation. Dr. Sielicki controls the amount and strength of the whitening product to ensure you achieve beautiful and even results without sensitivity or discomfort. If you do experience any sensitivity, she can recommend products to minimize it.

To learn more about KöR teeth whitening with Dr. Sielicki, please contact Sonoran Dental Design today.


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Dr. Sielicki and her staff are professional and I immediately felt comfortable. My teeth look fantastic. I could not be more pleased with the outcome.Emily

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Scottsdale Office

Sonoran Dental
7500 E Pinnacle Peak Rd Scottsdale, AZ 85255 (480) 419-9595

More Info Directions (480) 419-9595

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