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Tooth Whitening

Tooth Whitening

Tooth whitening is now one of the most popular dental treatments. To get rid of tooth staining many people turn to dentists for treatment to give perfect white teeth using tooth whitening procedures. Since tooth whitening is a non-invasive procedure that can be completed within a single visit, few people think about the potential side effects.

Many would not consider that there are even potential side effects to worry about at all.

Tooth whitening complications

Your dentist has a duty to advise you of the possible complications of tooth whitening.

  • Gum Irritation: Your gums may become temporarily red and irritated from contact with tooth whitening agents, but this side effect should subside within a few hours or days of treatment. In some cases, this irritation continues.
  • Tooth Sensitivity: A very common side effect of tooth whitening treatments is increased tooth sensitivity. You may experience heightened sensitivity to hot and cold foods for up to a few days after your treatment. If you already suffer with sensitive teeth, it is important to let your dentist know prior to any tooth whitening procedure as tooth whitening could make it worse.
  • Damaged enamel – if the tooth whitening product is acid based there is a risk that the tooth enamel will be seriously affected.
  • While the goal of teeth whitening treatments is brighter and whiter teeth, too much bleaching can actually cause discoloration and even translucence as the enamel wears away. If this is caught soon enough, this side effect can sometimes be reversed with an enamel-strengthening fluoride mouthwash. Too much damage may require porcelain veneers or dental bonding. This is additional treatment that you may not have accounted for and which you will have to pay for.

While most side effects of teeth whitening treatments are only temporary, constant and excessive bleaching with chemicals that are too harsh for your dental enamel can cause negative side effects that may last much longer.

While teeth whitening treatments often cause temporary tooth sensitivity, in some rare cases the treatment can induce permanent nerve damage and sensitivity.

These side effects are very rare, but a good cosmetic dentist will make patients aware of the potential and carefully monitor teeth whitening treatments for the best results.

The dentist should also offer alternative treatments to tooth whitening and explain the cost and and cost of putting right those complications.

Laura was recommended teeth whitening by her dentist but when she started the procedure she was in immense pain. Her gums felt like they were on fire. Her sensitivity continued and she now suffers with permanent discomfort.

If you have been affected by tooth whitening and are suffering with a complication that was not explained to you then get in touch.

It costs nothing to find out if you have a claim on 0800 470 2009 or email Dr Handley at

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