Over-The-Counter Teeth Whitening Products Deemed Potentially Dangerous by Many Dental Professionals

Teeth Whitening LaGrangeIn the past 20 years, there have been a large assortment of tooth whitening products released on the market for consumers.

There are those that may be dispensed by a dental professional for use at home, those that are directly applied by dentists, and products that may be purchased over-the-counter (OTC).

All whitening products are classified in one of two groups – agents that bleach the teeth through the use of peroxide and dentifrices, which are toothpastes that are designed to whiten the teeth.

While most whitening products may be safe if used appropriately, many dental professionals are deeming those that are purchased over-the-counter as potentially dangerous – especially when it comes to one’s dental health.

Why Over-the-Counter Whitening Products Available if They Can Cause Problems?

If dentists are now at the point where they believe over-the-counter whitening products could pose a danger to consumers, why are they available? The main reason is, these products offer a convenient, low-cost solution to individuals that want to perfect their smile.

Additionally, many of the products possess the Seal of Acceptance offered by the American Dental Association (ADA). This association reviews the ingredients used in the product and the directions associated with those products.

If these are within safe limits for at-home use, they are provided with the Seal of Acceptance. Unfortunately, the American Dental Association and the manufacturers cannot control how much of the product is actually used by a consumer, or how often.

In most instances, the dangers result from inappropriate use, not actual use.

How Do Over-The-Counter Whitening Products Work?

The OTC whitening products work one of two ways; that is, by using peroxide as a bleaching agent or using agents that are abrasive. These products are only able to reduce very minor stains or mild yellowing of the teeth.

They are not able to help with dark stains or discoloration that is considered to be “major”. Prescription or dentist applied teeth whitening products are the most effective types for these complications.

How Are Store-Bought Whitening Products Dangerous?

Damage to the teeth and gums may occur when using whitening products – even those that have been approved for use by the American Dental Association. This damage mostly stems from inappropriate and/or excessive usage. The complications that may occur include the following:

  • Irritation of the Gums – The peroxide included in OTC products have the potential to result in gum irritation. When the gums become irritated, redness, swelling, and even bleeding may occur. Additionally, sensitivity may be experienced. Naturally, this could result in immense levels of discomfort.
  • Irritation of the Soft Tissues of the Mouth – In addition to irritating the gums, the soft tissues of the mouth – such as the inside of the cheeks, the throat, and the tongue – may become irritated from the ingredients used in the products.
  • Tooth Enamel Loss – Enamel is a substance on the surface of each tooth that aids in the protection of tooth decay. OTC whitening products may erode this very important substance, which puts your teeth at higher risk for the onset of decay.
  • Translucency – Many that use OTC whitening products find that – instead of whitening the teeth – the products make the teeth look translucent. When this happens, it is irreversible and the teeth may look like they are discolored.
  • Tooth Sensitivity – Many people find that, over time, their teeth become highly sensitive to temperatures. In some instances, this sensitivity may occur without exposure to extreme temperatures. This is often a painful and daunting side effect for those that whiten with OTC products.

Safe Whitening is the Way to Go

If you are in the market for a whiter, brighter, and beautiful smile, there is a way to safely whiten your teeth… and that is to have them whitened by a professional!

Dentists use a carefully-created and safe bleaching agent to reduce the visibility of stains and other types of discoloration. In some cases, a heating or lighting device is also used.

The results are remarkable and safe. If you are ready to take your smile to the next level, we here at American Dental of LaGrange can help!

For information about safe teeth-whitening treatment in LaGrange, GA… contact us today to set up an appointment.

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