While there are relatively few risks that are associated with tooth whitening procedures, there are a few that must be mentioned. It is very rare for these occurrences to occur, and the chairside appointments should not result in any of the symptoms mentioned in these articles, as a trained medical professional, be s/he dentist or dental assistant or oral hygienist, needs to be present during the procedure and should be able to handle the situation without causing side effects. Take home kits also come with instructions that are easy to follow, and as long as the instructions are followed, there should be no problems.
Possible Side Effects
Even when handled properly, there might be some issues that arise. These issues are almost always a result of some existing problem, and they may be heightened by the stress caused from the bleach used. The patient almost always experiences a heightened sensitivity of the teeth for the next day or so, but this should not be uncomfortable or painful, and if it is, damage may have been incurred. Prolonged sensitivity of the teeth or the surrounding areas means that the nerves are too close to the surface, and are reporting pain.
The gums can also experience recession, and the process can dry out your mucus membranes. This is especially true of the chairside procedure, as the patient has to keep the mouth open for 2 times 45 minutes, which will result in dryness of the mouth. If the gums are infected, the bacteria will start dying from exposure to the whitening gel, and this can cause swelling, and can sting rather sharply as well.
Reasons For Pain
If pain or sensitivity of the teeth is felt, there are several reasons why this can be the case. The enamel may be cracked, and the fluid may have reached your pulp, or may have started eating away at your dentine. The enamel may also be thin, and the nerve may start to feel dried out and painful from being too close to the surface.
If your teeth have been exposed for too long to the gel, sensitivity will be the first thing that you will feel. If you are exposed for long enough, the enamel may get partially, or entirely eaten away, which will expose your dentine, which will result in cavities overtime, as the enamel cannot fight off the bacteria living in the mouth, and thus they will eventually attack the softer, less resilient tooth material underneath. If you have over exposed yourself with an at home tooth whitening kit, calla a dentist immediately and book an appointment. If a dentist has over exposed you, a lawsuit may be in order.